Ansett and Qantas are in another battle over rural routes. After fighting over Hazelton's network earlier this year, their battle has moved to the Queensland and Northern Territory routes of Flight West Airlines, which entered voluntary liquidation late in June.

Ansett wants to lease Flight West aircraft and operate all its routes, while Qantas only wants some of them. Sixteen are licensed by Queensland's state government, which pays an annual subsidy of A$3.8 million ($1.9 million) to ensure the rural air service.

Queensland's decision to split these routes three ways - between Ansett, Qantas, and Eastland Air - has upset Ansett. It claims at least eight should be operated as a group, but it was only offered four.

Ansett has agreed with Flight West's liquidators to keep flying other routes for at least three months, but the award of licensed routes is now up in the air.

Source: Airline Business