How will Hockey handle Qantas' baggage?

The Qantas-Virgin debate highlights Joe Hockey's policy dilemma. Lifting restrictions on Qantas' foreign ownership or providing subsidies will do little to disarm the threat of a destabilising capacity war.

Would relaxing the restrictions on foreign ownership within the Qantas Sales Act address Alan Joyce’s concerns about the $350 million recapitalisation of Virgin Australia by its three foreign strategic shareholders? Probably not.

Surprisingly, Joyce’s lobbying efforts over the past couple of weeks have borne some fruit. Joe Hockey has accepted that Qantas is now competing on a playing field that isn’t level and may not be commercially sustainable.

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