NOVEMBER 7, 2003
Stoddart to go into Australian airline business
Paul Stoddart has been in the process of selling his European Aviation business in recent months but if that deal fails to be closed it looks like the Minardi boss is going to start a low-cost airline in Australia.
"We have got the aircraft available and we have got the ability to make it happen reasonably quickly and in airline terms that would probably be six months," Stoddart told the Herald Sun newspaper. "But having said that, I have a lot respect for Qantas, one of the better airlines in the world, and I am certainly not going to be foolish enough to go head-to-head with them. I want to wait and see what they do before launching."
Stoddart has registered the names OzAir and Eurojet in Victoria.
His rivals would be Virgin Blue, which is due to be floated next month and Qantas's own discount airline, which will be launched in May.
Stoddart says that Australia has yet to see a European-style discount airline and that the passengers would be the big winners. He said that he would almost certainly use Melbourne's Tullamarine as his main base.
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