Pilots plea for foreign ownership law change to save Qantas

THE Australian and International Pilots Association have called on both major federal political parties to accept a compromise deal on the Qantas Sale Act.

The airline announced plans this week to shed 5000 full-time jobs after posting a $235 million half-year net loss.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce announced a cost saving target of $2 billion through significant changes to fleet plans and routes, and a reduction in capital expenditure of $1 billion over the next two financial years.

AIPA president Nathan Safe said on Friday both sides could consider agreeing to remove the 25% limit on a single foreign investor and the 35% cap on foreign airline ownership.

"This would free Qantas up to seek foreign investment while still ensuring it remained majority Australian-owned," he said.

"There is no reason to believe that foreign airline investment is an inferior option for Qantas' future than investment from a local investment bank.

"We believe both the Coalition and Labor have a responsibility to seek a compromise deal that will assist Qantas to survive, instead of locking into an intransigent political battle."

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