The Straits Times
Published on Nov 29, 2012

Tourism Australia backs chief in Qantas row


SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's official tourism agency on Thursday threw its full support behind its boss Geoff Dixon despite claims by national carrier Qantas that he is trying to unseat the airline's management.

Mr Dixon ran Qantas from 2001 until 2008 when current chief Alan Joyce took over, and their relationship has descended into a bitter feud over the direction the airline is taking.

On Wednesday Qantas severed its 40-year relationship with Tourism Australia, cancelling a A$50 million (S$63 million) deal, "due to a potential conflict of interest of the agency's chairman".

It claimed Mr Dixon was a member of a syndicate "committed to unravelling Qantas' structure and direction".