Armed guards on Qantas flights

Armed undercover security guards will fly on randomly selected Qantas Airways flights between Australia and Singapore after Canberra finalised a cost-sharing arrangement with the national carrier.

    Australia is negotiating security deals with the US and Canada

    Though the overall cost of Australia's first such programme for international routes was not disclosed, Justice Minister Chris Ellison said Australia's government would contribute at least A$10 million ($7.4 million) a year. 

    "Now that we've got the agreement with Singapore and finalised the details with Qantas, the programme's up and running as of today," Ellison said.

    He said similar air security deals were being negotiated with the United States and Canada. Discussions with other countries would begin as risk assessments were carried out.

    "I'd hope to have an agreement with the United States early in the New Year," he told Sky Television. 

    Australia and Singapore agreed on the aviation security deal. Ellison has described the air route to and from Singapore as one of Australia's busiest with more than 12,000 flights a year by Qantas and Singapore Airlines. 

    No fare increase

    Ellison gave no indication of whether Singapore Airlines had begun using guards on its Australian routes. 

    Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said he did not expect fares to rise as a result of the security deal. 

    Australia began putting armed guards on randomly chosen domestic flights two years ago after the September 11 hijacked airliner attacks on the United States.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.