Qantas reviewing its 46% Air Pacific stake

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Australia's Qantas could sell its 46% stake in Fiji's flag carrier Air Pacific.

"We are formerly reviewing it," says a spokesman at the oneworld alliance member, who was responding to an Australian media report.

The newspaper quoted Qantas executive David Epstein as saying that "while it is at very early stages, we can now confirm that the Air Pacific stake was under review, and that the continuing of the shareholding is formerly under review."

The spokesman says there is no time frame for the stake sale, and declined to comment on possible buyers.

According to Flightglobal's ACAS database, Fiji's government owns 51% of Air Pacific, Qantas 46%, Air New Zealand 3.67%, with four South Pacific governments holding stakes of less than 1% each.

On 31 August, Qantas applied for more traffic rights on the Australia-Fiji route, just days after Virgin Blue's V Australia applied for similar traffic rights.

In a letter to Australia's International Air services Commission, dated 20 August, Qantas said it wanted to have an additional 1,491 seats per week on the Sydney-Nadi route.

In April next year, its Jetstar unit plans to launch daily service on the route using Airbus A321 aircraft, Qantas said.

Air Pacific operates domestic services between Nadi and Suva in addition to international services linking Fiji with other South Pacific Islands, as well as three destinations each in Australia and New Zealand. Long-haul flights are operated to Honolulu, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Vancouver.

The carrier operates five aircraft, says Flightglobal's ACAS database. It has three Boeing 737s, one 747-400, and 767-300ER. It has eight 787-9s on order, and one 747-400 in storage.