Qantas severs ties with Tourism Australia

Qantas has cut ties with Tourism Australia over the chairman of the tourism body’s ‘conflict of interest’.

Qantas told the tourism agency it was suspending a A$50 million (£32 million) marketing deal, ending a 40 year partnership.

Tourism Australia chairman Geoff Dixon, a former Qantas chief executive, is part of a group of investors reportedly seeking changes at the airline, the BBC reported.

“This conflict has arisen from the involvement of Tourism Australia’s chairman with a syndicate that is actively canvassing fundamental changes to the Qantas Group strategy, including the proposed partnership with Emirates,” Qantas said.

Dixon was in charge at the carrier between 2001 and 2008 before current chief executive Alan Joyce took over.

“Qantas cannot continue to collaborate with an agency whose chairman is a member of a syndicate committed to unravelling Qantas’s structure and direction,” the airline said.

But the carrier said this did not mean Qantas would stop supporting the tourism industry in Australia.

“Not one dollar will be removed from tourism marketing as a consequence of this decision,” Qantas said.

“Rather than providing this support through the federal agency, Qantas will instead look to do so through the states.”

Some key initiatives already underway would not be halted.

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