#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Fiji regime uses decree to muscle out Qantas

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fiji regime uses decree to muscle out Qantas

The regime has introduced a new decree to reduce the influence Qantas has on Air Pacific, stipulating that a Fijian-registered carrier must remain under the "substantial ownership and control" of a citizen.

The illegally elected government is the biggest shareholder in the national carrier with a 51% stake, so the change doesn't require Qantas to sell any of its 46.3% holding. 

But according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the Australian carrier will lose some influence over management of the airline.

Qantas has been trying to sell its holding in Air Pacific to the regime but the parties have failed to reach an agreement, especially on price. 

The illegal attorney general and Minister for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, claims Qantas has used "super-majority and veto rights over significant areas of the company" to control Air Pacific.

He says these include the appointment of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman, the annual operating budget, expenditure plans, the selection of air routes, scheduling and management appointments.

He is quoted as saying: "While Qantas currently has veto power over most areas of Air Pacific's operations and business decisions, Qantas also competes directly against Air Pacific through its wholly-owned low-cost carrier subsidiary, Jetstar, which flies overseas visitors to Fiji from Sydney."

Khaiyum says the new ownership laws bring Fiji into step with other countries and with international conventions related to airline ownership. 

Australia, for example, has restricted foreign ownership of Qantas to 49%. 

In statements on the government website that we have posted below, the regime says that Qantas recently unsuccessfully tried to block a Virgin Australia Ltd. restructuring designed to free its rival of Australia's foreign-ownership cap.

Media reports today, including the Wall Street Journal, note the strained diplomatic relations with Australia, which hit a low point late in 2009 when both countries expelled each other's diplomats. 

The reports zoom in on the regime's hostility towards foreign corporates including Fiji Water,  News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal and previously the Fiji Times newspaper, which it was forced to sell after the regime introduced a similar decree to control ownership via local citizens. 

It's reported that in 2010, Qantas proposed that Fiji pay it F$70 million (US$39.5 million) for its holding in Air Pacific. 

According to a copy of the proposal seen by Dow Jones Newswires, the Australian airline recommended that Fiji could cancel new aircraft orders, sell and lease back aircraft, refinance a plane hangar, and sell the Sofitel Hotel on Fiji's Denarau Island to help fund the acquisition. 

The Wall Street Journal says "Air Pacific once dominated the lucrative traffic into Fiji. But the airline has struggled to compete since the arrival in 2009 of Virgin Australia and Qantas' low-cost offshoot Jetstar." 

A Qantas spokeswoman in Sydney denied the airline had veto power over Air Pacific's operational decisions or it even having  effective control.  "Qantas will assess the implications of the decision to change the airline ownership laws in Fiji and determine what impact this has on our minority shareholding in the airline."

Fijian Civil Aviation Decree Question and Answer

Fiji aligns national ownership laws with international laws

International 'ownership and control' fact sheet


Fiji Eagle said...

Not unexpected. It's how Qantas responds that will be of interest.

Mahns said...

Just get Qantas to sell those shares back for free!!Donation through AusAid!!

Anonymous said...

Bugger Qantas. been trying to damage Fiji for a long time. They haven't lost anything except control and fair enough. If Air Pacific owned 49 per cent of Qantas, would it expect to tell Qantas what to do? That's what's been happening in Fiji. Another blow to Australia's neo-colonialist mindset. Piss off digger.

Anonymous said...

@Mahns, how can you SELL something for free??????

Anonymous said...





Anonymous said...

hahaha..QANTAS has nothing to lose. even if it doesnt make decisions during board meetings or whereever . O jemeni mada ga qori levu na gauna e galu voli ga e na gauna ni board meeting and thats why the palagis make/initiate all the board decisions. Vakaloloma ga na i taukei when an indo Fijian sits there as chairman but cant talk. The qn is how did he become the chairman of air pac? we have very competent ppl to replace him. Air Pac will only perform if they terminate Nalin, Dave and the whole board of directors (Fiji Govt reps) , we need new board members to run the show. If not bring back the ex management ( locals) of air pac they would done a better job than the expats, at least their pay was lower..They must be laughing away with their better paid jobs by now

The Oracle said...

As Fiji Eagle said ..not unexpected. In fact, taking away veto power is an excellent move. QUESTION, however, is: How will this affect Air Pacific in the long term - especially in regards to international air agreements!!!!
Also, as Fiji Eagle said .. it will be interesting to see how QANTAS reacts. As the saying goes: Killing two birds with one stone. This case may turn out, however, with Khaiyum killing his own bird and letting the other one off without a scrath. REMEMBER: Qantas has been trying to get rid of its shares - but the asking price is too much for Khaiyum (and also no way Qantas will give him a cut), so ANOTHER DECREE. As usual, if a situation doesn't suit you, introduce a DECREE!!!

Anonymous said...

You remove Qantas from the equation..Air Pac in for a crash..

Anonymous said...

About time, a great thing to do but then and again oh!no this govement is illegal and everything they do is illegal even when it is a good thing.

Radiolucas said...

"Another blow to Australia's neo-colonialist mindset"

And there go the investors out the door again - well done cretins - the Regime, once again, snatching Defeat from the very jaws of Victory!

So the idiots Unite under the Great Leader Frank Bainimarama and his Chief Moron Khaiyum!

In that vein, lets aim for negative growth this year! Why not drive this thing as far into the ground as possible! Go-on Franky - we know you can do it!

Anonymous said...

See all fat cats flying FOC now

Anonymous said...

I hope Qantas will sell it's shares and that will spell the end of Air Pathetic. How can Fiji fund its airline when they have no money now? Oh hang on, they must be thinking of Air China, and we all know how that will turn out.

One must also look at the state of Air Pathetic, the management, the planes are in need of an overhaul, and in a matter of time, air pathetic will collapse.

Anonymous said...

dina says....Talibans ASK and co wants to see Fiji go down again whilst they make their money...

Bokola levu nomu kawa, luveni kawa ca.....

Anonymous said...

Air Korea or whatever they call themselves should have been denied landing rights the minute they chose to prop up an illegal junta and facilitate illegal deportations (especially of diplomatic staff). Maybe that bitchy little Qantas ponce doing his best to 'run' THAT airline could try offloading their shareholding there (Joyce I think his name is - from the same ilk as a certain Joyce Crown-minster in NZ - just a different stink)

Little Als Mate... said...

Tried it on an old tired Digger & it worked - danger is little Al is nothing like Rupert - doesn't mind an all in barny with a goverment - just ask the current Australian one? Shareholders would lynch him if he just walked away from $70 mill (in any currency).

What some call nationalisation others call theft.

mark manning said...

Welcome ARAB AIRLINES to Fiji.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Emirates.

Anonymous said...

Everything this illegal touch turns to shit..they want to be professionals in everything...Air pacific will soon be bankrupt because of this shithead..

Anonymous said...

I think that Qantas stands to gain and Air Pacific will lose out in the long run.

Where will Air Pacific get its customers from?

Qantas, being the national carrier for Australia with New Zealand being a strong supporter for Australia, and USA with the ANZUS co-operation in promoting their own airlines to their own citizens, will leave Air Pacific to advertize to Fijian citizens and other third-world people who travel less by comparison.

If this stupidity continues, we are seeing the demise of our own flag carrier.

Anonymous said...

qanatas did help air pac make profit in the past.
now ag/cronies have put air pac in losses bec they buying planes and making cuts.
fiji is no longer safe for investors under the illegal regime now.

Anonymous said...

Isa! How arrogant and stupid AG and his puppy Dave must be to pull this off. They showed Qantas all right. Even their scripted justification reads like lies nor does it make sense. Who will want to invest in Fiji, never mind Air Pacific now when AG told the world that he will re-interpret commercial contracts as he sees fit? What have we done to deserve being ruled by such incompetent imbeciles? Every day they screw things up more it seems.

Anonymous said...

Qantas has never interfered with the day to day operations of air pacific. the veto powers are used at board level only and very rarely has it been used. it is plieger and the AG who 'sleep in the same bed' that have interfered with air pacific. air pacific is losing revenue in a big way. the B737 aircrafts they now use for the sydney service severely restrict growth for the airline. the B747 provide 920 seats per day while the B737 provide 600 seats per day.a reduction of 320 seats with no cargo space available on while the B747 provides 20 tonnes of cargo space each way; a total of 40 tonnes gone to waste. now surely that equates to a huge revenue loss daily. on top of that there is the additional costs; 2 sets of crew to operate the 2 daily B737 service to sydney, 2 sets of air navigation charges, 2 sets of airport handling fees, landing fees etc.so air pac reduces its revenue base and increases its operating costs.good management??

Anonymous said...

Why didn't they just buy Qantas out?

That would surely have been a win-win, if the regime's plans for Air Pacific are as rosy as they claim!

Air Emirates said...

Where will the money come from??? FNPF??? China loans???

Fiji Village
Govt interested in buying 46.3% Qantas shares in Air Pacific
Publish date/time: 29/03/2012 [10:15]

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The Fijian government is still interested in buying the 46.3% Qantas shares in Fiji’s national carrier, Air Pacific.

However, Attorney General and Civil Aviation Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Qantas has not made an offer to the government.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

Sayed-Khaiyum said Qantas wants to agree on the value before the next step is taken.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

Meanwhile the Fijian government has changed airline ownership rules in a new Civil Aviation Ownership and Control of National Airlines Decree which now takes away the veto and supermajority rights given to Qantas in Air Pacific.

The Fijian government owns 51% of Air Pacific.

However since 1998, minority shareholder, Qantas has maintained effective control of Air Pacific through supermajority and veto rights over significant areas of the company including the appointment of the Air Pacific Chairman, Deputy Chairman, annual operating budget, any expenditure, new air routes, variations to Air Service schedules, management appointments, employee incentive schemes including bonuses, and numerous other key areas of oversight, control and decision making.

Sayed-Khaiyum said this step had to be taken to ensure that no one has veto or supermajority powers.

Qantas is yet to comment on this development.

Anonymous said...

Qantas says it's a minority shareholder. Four of Air Pacific's nine directors are Qantas appointees

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/fiji-moves-to-cut-qantas-control-20120328-1vypn.html#ixzz1qSGffx22

Anonymous said...

Rumblings that the QF Board members are tired the CEo's antics and are looking to get rid of him. This prevents that.

Anonymous said...

Reality comes into effect I am sure there will be flight via Doha,Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Fiji the world top leading airlines are heading your way Sukran welcome on Board Etihad Airways ,Qatar Airways and Emirates :)

Anonymous said...

The air pacific-qantas shareholder agreement was not friendly to the Fijian shareholder but was agreed to among growns ups under the circumstances at the time. Qantas has made a fine profit from fees etc. BUT grown ups negotiate out and buy back rights. The junta just passes a decree and ignores contract rights. Ayaz and Phliegrer behave like schoolyard bullies and have not mastered the necessary senior executive skills to deal with the situation. In their imputence they have damaged Fijis reputation as a place to do business, out of sheer incompetence! Fire them both.

Anonymous said...

Rumblings are....
Both the qantas and the Fiji directors are sick of Phliegers antics. But Ayaz runs the show and props the idiot up. So he has a free reign to strutt around like a peacock and insult board members.

Kai VT said...

sa laurai ga i ke na ulupepa nei koya e soli advise tiko mai cake ya...QANTAS was always a minority shareholder and was never the only shareholder making decisions for the company. They've been trying to sell off their shares for quite a while now so what was the Fiji Govt doing all this time...?.they shldnt have wasted their time and money making changes to their decree/regulations regarding who controls the airline etc as that is determined by the % shareholding and share types, instead they should just look for the money to buy all the shares to make the airline 100% Fiji owned. QANTAS will be more than happy not to be associated with the airline and then Fiji Govt will be on the losing end. The only people that should go are :
1) Dave Phliger - MD & CEO
2) Nalin Patel - Board Chairman
3) All other Fiji Govt appointed Board directors.

I suggest that the Govt appoint new directors with a very strong Finance background as their Board members such as PS Finance, FNPF Chief Investment Officer, 1 senior person from AFL, and a senior person from the Tourism Industry or a well renowned ex Pilot. All of them , should be strategically steering air pacific into a direction whereby the company can improve its financial performance and financial position in the medium to long term. I am a proud native Fijian and I dont want that airline to go down in the future..PM please do something..and also my last request,if Aiyaz is still the Minister of Civil Aviation, please get him out of that position,,,too much collusion with Dave. ..im sure there are better educated Fijians out there who can do a better job than him

Anonymous said...

Oh so they changed the regulation to prevent the sacking of Dave??waht a shame.Dave nobody needs u here in Fiji. Pack up and go back to the US u sucker



Anonymous said...

C'mon you bloggers, you all know that in reality, how many local board members are able to easily outdo these expatriate/overseas directors in boardroom discussions?? And these morons, especially Australians and NZers know it. English is our second language and often, particularly the civil servants are not very good at articulating. Check it out, this has been the trend since Independence. So, even with a reduced number of Qantas nominated board members, these people still cunningly know how to sway the scales. You will note that it is usually the FIjians who are fooled into this because they cannot differentiate between neocolonialism and nationalism while the Indians do much better at articulation.

Anonymous said...

@Indian Racist!

Why can't you go back to India or wherever you come from and learn to be a pilot with Air India or whatever airline you choose?
If QVS and RKS former students are now pilots with Air Pacific...good on them, cause they have earned their wings through the processes. For you and your croonies...dream on!! Otherwise begin by learning to fly a kite!!

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 10:10.

Another successful transportation model like you illustrate is used in AUS road - semi trailer vs
B double - move as much as possible minimum of times.
But them what would we know?

Anonymous said...

Narcissist Dictator flying Fiji into Oblivion.

Anonymous said...

Nalin Patel I hear your days r numbered. FB and AG have u next on target. Get out on next flight before they bring on case against u.

Anonymous said...

Suggest they place ad to sell qantas share on fijibuynsell.com!

Anonymous Anonymous said...



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