Mar 12, 2009

Expansion of air services arrangements with Qatar

Expansion of air services arrangements with Qatar

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

March 12 2009

Today I am pleased to announce Australia and Qatar have settled new air services arrangements, and that Qatar Airways will commence services to Sydney and Melbourne in late 2009.

Qatar Airways new services will boost the Australia’s aviation industry and tourism, and the new air service arrangements will open up new routes – increasing choice and competition for Australian travellers.

The new arrangements with Qatar were agreed in February and will allow Qatar Airways to provide a total of 14 services per week to Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney or Perth. In the past they were only allowed seven services per week, and access to Sydney was delayed for 12 months.

The Government has ensured the benefits of increased services are shared among our most popular locations, with Qatar’s airlines only allowed to operate a maximum of seven services per week to any one of these destinations.

To encourage international airlines to service Australia’s regional destinations, unrestricted access remains available to all other Australian airports.

The new arrangements will allow Australian international carriers to operate through Qatar to any point in the European Union and five other points in the Middle East and Africa. Previously, Australian airlines could only operate services to 10 points beyond Qatar in the Middle East, UK/Europe and Africa.

Australian and Qatari airlines can now develop a variety of international air services and improve connection to destinations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Consumers will have a wide range of services and fares to choose from as these new services develop over time.

Any new services introduced will, of course, meet Australia’s strict aviation and safety requirements.