16 Jul 2014

Qantas to stay Australian-owned

10:31 am on 16 July 2014

The Australian government has backed down on its plan to open Qantas to foreign ownership.

Cabinet has approved a compromise proposed by Labor that will see foreign investment restrictions eased but keep the airline majority Australian-owned.

No single foreign investor or foreign airline will be able to acquire more than 49 percent of the carrier, the ABC reports.

Transport Minister Warren Truss said it was clear the Government's original proposal to would not pass the Senate and the compromise would give Qantas additional flexibility and more capacity to raise additional capital.

Opposition's transport spokesman Anthony Albanese said the party had stated from the very beginning majority Australian ownership of Qantas was not negotiable.

"It's very clear the Government was on its own here when it comes to abandoning Qantas as an Australian-based airline."

The bill was likely to go before the Senate on Wednesday.