Senate committee recommends that the government look into’ its refusal of Qatar flights

Senate committee recommends that the government look into’ its refusal of Qatar flights

The Senate investigation into the Albanese government’s refusal to consent to the request for additional flights from Qatar Airways has recommended the decision be reviewed immediately.

The report of the inquiry, which was released Monday, is also negative of Qantas its executives, who were questioned with a snide attitude about its treatment of customers as they appeared in front of the inquiry.

In its major report, the committee, which Nationals Senate chairman Bridget McKenzie chairs, asks the Senate to reconfirm its appointment so that it can present to the table the former Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce, who declined to be present, citing that the company was in the middle of a war. It is subject to a Senate vote.

Qantas has resisted the Qatar application, citing the grounds that it could cause distortions to the market.

The report slams the Minister of Transport, Catherine King, for not clearly explaining the motives behind her decision to deny Qatar’s Qatar application. She has claimed that she was acting within an act of “national interest” and offered a variety of reasons in various instances.

“A wide range of witnesses, including key stakeholders in Australian aviation, submitted that they did not fully understand the basis for the decision,” the report states.

“The weight of evidence before the committee indicates the national interest would have been well served by agreeing to Qatar’s request.” The report also criticizes the government’s inability to give the committee the details that it wanted.

Evidence suggests that the decision resulted in an economy of approximately $1 billion. It also was a missed chance to boost trade and tourism, especially for agricultural exports that make use of passenger planes, according to the report.

Read more: Qantas chief Alan Joyce quits early amid customer fury at the airline.

The inquiry recommends that in deciding on bilateral air agreements, the government should look at a cost-benefit analysis, consult widely with stakeholders, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and publish its reasons for decisions.

In the aftermath of the government’s decision to reject, Qatar has asked for consultations.

King has responded to the inquiry by denying the investigation as the report was a “political stunt” by the Coalition. The committee has reiterated its request to King to appear before the committee, which she has refused to do.

Read more: Grattan on Friday: Transport Minister Catherine King struggles to find a landing strip amid Qatar turbulence.

The committee comprised three Coalition senators: one from the United Australia Party, two from Labor, and one from the Greens.

In their report, which was dissident, Labor senators Tony Sheldon and Linda White stated that a lot of the recommendations of the majority “appear blissfully ignorant of the current policy framework underpinning Australia’s aviation sector.” Greens senator Penny Allman Payne also was not a fan of certain issues.

The report suggests the resumption of monitoring the industry of airlines from the ACCC.

The document states that, in addition to this wide-ranging investigation into competition in the aviation industry, “the committee would support an analysis of the ACCC into Qantas activities in the aviation industry.

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