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Friday, 8 November 1985
Page: 1847

Senator SIBRAA —Is the Minister representing the Minister for Transport aware of a claim made by Senator Sanders in a speech on 11 October on the Qantas Airways Ltd Bill that Continental Airlines Inc. has a return airfare for Los Angeles-Melbourne-Los Angeles of $US467 and that, in his words, Australians are getting a raw deal from Qantas Airways Ltd? Can the Minister inform the Senate whether Senator Sanders's claims are correct?

Senator GIETZELT —It is true that during the debate on the Qantas Airways legislation several weeks ago Senator Sanders did make a critical statement in respect of the fare schedules that operate from Sydney to Los Angeles and return. He suggested that a very much lower fare was available through Continental Airlines than the fare provided by Qantas. I think that was the basis of his criticism of Qantas Airways. I am advised that Continental Airlines in a telex has said that it has absolutely no knowledge of the fare of $US467 for Los Angeles-Melbourne-Los Angeles which Senator Sanders allegedly claimed it was offering. That information is from the General Manager of Continental Airlines. One can only assume that Senator Sanders has wrong figures, or was just indulging in a little bit of rhetoric in the debate on that particular piece of legislation.