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Qantas investments



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: ; r, ; RGO -lip ^JAi 26th July' 68

JE T& I 2; ES S

(Statement by-the Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr. R. W. Swartz)

Australia's international airline, Qantas Airways Ltd., will

increase to $251,000 its investment in Fiji Airways.

Qantas has also acquired a substantial interest in another

South Pacific Island airline, New Hebrides Airways Ltd.

This was announced today by the Minister for Civil Aviation,

Per. R. W. Swartz.

Mt. Swartz said that the Qantas investrle.its would enable the

airlines to develop their operations to meet the increasing demand for air

services within and between Pacific Islands groups.

He added that Fiji Ai rways, a regional airline based at Suva,

was acquired by Qantas in 1958.

However, it was now owned in equal shares b y Qantas, BOAC,

Air New Zealand and the Fiji Government, although Qantas still provided the

management services on behalf of the other shareholders.

._r. Swartz said that since 1958, when Fiji Airways served domestic

routes within the Fiji group of islands alone, the airline's operations had

been developed to link Fiji first with the Solomon Islands, and subsequentl,,

with Tonga and Western Saes and the Gilbert and Ellice Islands.

In April 1968, Fiji Airways service to Tarawa in the Gilberts

was further extended to Nau ru.

He added that the role of Fiji Arrays in providing air transport

in the area would undoubtedly become more important with the growth of tourism

in the South Pacific.

The company operates a newly acquired 15748 turbo-prop airliner,

three four--engine Heron's and a Douglas DC3.

It has a second HS748 on order.

Qi tas, in common with its partners in Fiji Airways was now doubling

its share of the paid up capital from X1.23, 000 to %251,000.

The increase in capital would enable Fiji Airways to acquire the

new HS748 and to develop its services even further.

s

-2-

Mr. Swartz added that New Hebrides Airy Limited in which

tas has acquired a substantial interest operated Drover ai.rcr ft- within

the New Hebrides.

Air services within the Angle-French condominium were provided

by a consortium known as Air Melanesia in which Now Hebrides Airways

was associated with Hebridair, a predominantly French-owned and controlled

airline.

Mr. SwarW added that New Hebrides Airways were established by

two Australians, Mr. R. U. Paul who had plantation interests in the Now

Hebrides and th4 late Mr. Paul Burton.

The r antas investment, which followed a detailed survey of the

airline r s activities and prospects, would enable New Hebrides Airways

to increase its operations and provide improved services within this

important Pacific Islands group.

CAPBER :5 JULY 26th, 1968.