A Qantas debt deal might not fly with Abbott

How should Tony Abbott respond to Qantas' pleas for help? A guarantee of the airline's debt would secure its credit rating, but its offshore expansion presents additional risks for taxpayers.

It is apparent that the Abbott government would like to respond positively to Qantas’ urgent request for assistance. However, it is quite unsure and uncomfortable about the form that help might take.

Last week it was Joe Hockey who acknowledged Qantas was competing at a disadvantage to Virgin Australia and its troika of strategic shareholders. It is a contest that, for Qantas, might not be commercially sustainable.

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