The Straits Times
Published on Nov 28, 2012

Qantas ends Tourism Australia link amid sabotage claim


SYDNEY (AFP) - Qantas Airways on Wednesday severed a lucrative marketing deal with Tourism Australia after claiming its boss was leading a consortium trying to unseat the airline's management and buy out the company.

The carrier said it had advised the country's official tourism agency it was halting the A$50 million (S$64 million) deal "due to a potential conflict of interest of the agency's chairman", who is former Qantas chief Geoff Dixon.

Mr Dixon ran the national flag-carrier between 2001 and 2008, when Mr Alan Joyce took over.

"This conflict has arisen from the involvement of Tourism Australia's chairman with a syndicate that is actively canvassing fundamental changes to the Qantas Group strategy, including the proposed partnership with Emirates," the airline said.