Qantas to sponsor Australian GP

THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX is to be sponsored by Australia's airline Qantas for the next five years.

The Queensland and Northern Territories Air Service - as it was originally known - is facing increasing pressure in the Pacific basin from booming Asian companies, notably Korean Air and All Nippon Airways. Sponsorship of the Grand Prix should bring the company exposure to a global television audience and thus increase Qantas's worldwide profile - it is already Australia's most recognized brand name. Qantas takes over the event from local highway construction company Transurban.

During the announcement, Victorian state premier Jeff Kennett said that the 1995 Australian GP had earned the state around $75m and attracted 5,000 overseas visitors, in addition to 11,000 interstate visitors.

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