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B>SYDNEY:/BAustralia#8217;s biggest airline, Qantas Airways, is laying off 1,000 people, or about 3% of its workforce, as the war in Iraq, the spread of the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus and general weak economic conditions bite into its operations.
The Market Development Programme (MDP), which sets the minimum airfares, would be suspended for a three-month period to allow signatory airlines to set their own airfares and promote low fares.
AIRLINE stocks in the region continued to regain lost ground yesterday, even though the industry has yet to come out of what some argue are its toughest operating conditions.
MAJOR stock markets in Asia ended the first quarter of the year substantially lower as concerns over the economic impact from the war in Iraq weighed on investor sentiment.
MAJOR regional airlines are grappling with escalating cost in their cargo operations following the onset of the war in Iraq. While most airlines have moved to pass the additional cost over to cargo customers, others have yet to do so, perhaps on the belief that the situation may not last for too long.
WHILE traffic for the month of January 2003 was good, domestic traffic was weaker on a month-to-month basis following the seasonally strong month of December. Traffic for February 2003 was also weaker after Chinese New Year but forward bookings are looking stronger this year.