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Former Qantas CEO Alan Joyce could front Senate inquiry



Former Qantas CEO Alan Joyce could join his successor in facing a Senate grilling during the inquiry into the government's decision to block additional Qatar Airways flights.

It's understood Joyce and his replacement, current CEO Vanessa Hudson, will both front the inquiry into Transport Minister Catherine King's decision.

Critics, including opposition leader Peter Dutton, have said the choice to refuse Qatar Airways' bid for extra flights into Australia will only keep ticket prices high.

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The Coalition has accused the government of shielding Qantas from competition, and will seek to establish whether the national carrier was involved in the decision.

King has said she made the decision in the "national interest" and that her office spoke with Virgin and Qatar Airways during the process, but not Qantas.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is pondering an "open skies" agreement with South East Asian nations including Indonesia, in a move which could bring down international flight prices.

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Australia maintains open skies arrangements with a number of countries including New Zealand, China, and the US, but the government's South East Asia Economic Strategy released yesterday emphasised the need to boost flights in the region.

Open skies arrangements remove government interference from airline decisions about routes and pricing.

Albanese is currently overseas to meet with ASEAN leaders.

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