Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has rejected reports that he is dumping plans to establish a full-service airline in Asia in favour of a deeper alliance with Malaysian Airlines.
Mr Joyce insists Qantas management is still in talks with Singapore and Malaysia to establish an airline to service the business market in the region.
He says a new premium airline in the Asian market remains a key part of the airline's strategy, which also includes the launch of the budget Jetstar Japan carrier and other ventures in the region.
"We believe that a new premium airline in Asia is important for us," Mr Joyce told me in an interview broadcast on The World Today.
"And the timing of that airline and how it works with partners is still part of the discussions we are having with both Singapore and with Malaysia, and no final decision has been made on what we are going to do."
But Mr Joyce would not be drawn on the outcome of meetings with regulators and government officials in Singapore and Malaysia in the last week.
"We are still continuing to dialogue with them and it is inappropriate for me to comment on that dialogue," he said.