Jul 23, 2008

28 per cent More Seats on Routes Between Australia and Thailand

28 per cent More Seats on Routes Between Australia and Thailand

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

July 23 2008

Thai and Australian airlines are now able to offer additional passenger and freight services between and beyond our two countries, thanks to new aviation arrangements negotiated by the Rudd Labor Government.

The Australia/Thailand aviation market is Australia’s 6th largest, with 980,000 people travelling between our two countries in the twelve months to May this year – up almost 20 per cent on the previous twelve month period.

Without doubt, Thailand has become a popular destination for Australian families wanting a holiday and backpackers looking for adventure.

The new agreement will provide many benefits to both country’s airlines and economies, including:

  • More seats. The maximum number of possible weekly flights increases immediately from 35 to 40 B747-400 equivalent services – and to 45 from March 2009. These services can be operated with various types of aircraft between any of the international airports in Australia and Thailand.
  • Greater flexibility. The number of code share services that can be operated in conjunction with the airlines of third countries increases immediately from 28 to 35 weekly services – and to 40 from March 2009.
  • Unlimited freight services. The previous limit of 7 all-cargo services per week has been completely removed. Airlines can now operate any number of all-cargo services on any route; take on and set down cargo when operating via a third country or beyond; and use their own or leased planes.

From March next year, the maximum number of seats on flights between Australia and Thailand will reach over 1.87 million each year – 28.6 per cent more than were available under the old bilateral aviation arrangements.

The only remaining limit on passenger services are those restricting Thai carriers from flying via the United States to Australia and beyond Australia to the United States. Similarly, Australian airlines will still not be allowed to fly to and from the People’s Republic of China via any Thai airport.

Through deals like the one we have just negotiated with the Government of Thailand, the Rudd Labor Government is successfully liberalising the international aviation market while protecting the national interest – an approach that’s reducing air fares for Australians and providing economic opportunities for the Australian aviation industry.