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Qantas boss Alan Joyce has dismissed the idea of a high speed rail link between Sydney and Canberra, saying a second Sydney airport is the only way to meet the growing demand.
However Mr Joyce says Canberra might be a viable origin point for international flights to Asia in the future.
"There's no point building fast train links to places like Canberra and assuming that will fix the problem," he said.
"I don't think even Michael O'Leary from Ryanair would have had a goal to claim that Canberra was a second Sydney airport, and he makes outrageous claims on airports around the world.
"We need a second Sydney airport."
International flights made a loss for the airline last year, but Mr Joyce says there are business opportunities in putting on more direct flights from Australia to Asia.
Qantas may be flying Boeing 787 Dreamliners on international routes out of Canberra as early as 2016.
"We have looked at the Canberra market internationally on a number of occasions," he said.
"That's still potentially on our radar screens.
"We believe we're one of the few carriers that could make something like that work but it all depends on us making the necessary changes, getting the partnership with Emirates.
ACT Labor and the Canberra Airport have backed the high speed rail link, but Prime Minister Julia Gillard says a feasibility study shows it is not yet viable.
"It's a lot of money for a fast train that would do not only the interconnection to Sydney and Canberra, but also the interconnection to Melbourne," Ms Gillard said.
"I think it's some time away that you would see population density at a point that would make it viable."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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