Aug 27, 2008

Australia and Bangladesh Settle Air Services Arrangements

Australia and Bangladesh Settle Air Services Arrangements

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

August 27 2008

Direct flights between Australia and Bangladesh are a step closer following the signing of an inaugural air services Memorandum of Understanding.

Up until now, those wanting to travel between Australia and Bangladesh had to do so on third country airlines via mainly Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand. The new arrangements open the door for Australian and Bangladeshi airlines to serve both countries with direct flights.

Subject to compliance with applicable safety regulations, airlines of each country are immediately able to operate up to five flights each way each week between airports in both Bangladesh and Australia.

If this capacity is not used for ‘own aircraft’ services, it can be used to market code-shared services operated by the airlines of other countries.

The opening up of the Australia-Bangladesh market underscores the Rudd Labor Government’s determination to liberalise the international aviation market.

The Australia-Bangladesh market, while comparatively small at some 28,000 passengers a year, has over the past decade grown by an average of 12 per cent a year.

With a population of more than 150 million people, Bangladesh is a potentially important emerging market and the new arrangements will provide for the development of bilateral air services.

The new arrangements also pave the way for the development of the cargo market between Australia and Bangladesh, with capacity for up to seven all-cargo services with any aircraft type to be operated each week.

Cargo can be taken on and set down at any point, subject only to each country’s bilateral aviation arrangements with other countries.