The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese today announced that Australian and Japanese airlines would now be able to offer direct flights between Australia and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport under a landmark open skies agreement between Australia and Japan.
Key elements of the new arrangements include:
- Daily flights between Haneda Airport and Australian airports
- The removal of all capacity restrictions between all Australian and Japanese airports with the exception of Tokyo’s Narita Airport
- The removal of all capacity restrictions at Tokyo’s Narita Airport form 2013.
“This is a breakthrough agreement which will have significant economic benefits for Australia,” Mr Albanese said.
“More than one million people fly between Australia and Japan each year with more than $3 billion worth of cargo transported between the two countries.
“As well as opening up Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to our airlines, the agreement allows an unlimited number of flights between the two countries.
“It also makes it possible for Australian airlines to fly beyond Japan to third countries for the first time, including key markets such as China and Europe.
“The announcement further strengthens Australia’s strong bilateral aviation relationship with Japan and reinforces the importance of our economic links with one of Asia’s largest economies.”
The Minister for Tourism Martin Ferguson welcomed the announcement and said that it would significantly boost capacity in terms of the number of available seats between Japan and Australia.
“This is an excellent outcome for Australia’s tourism industry and an opportunity to build on the Japanese market currently worth $1.2 billion annually to Australia. It will also assist in the recovery of Japanese visitor arrival numbers, which have been impacted by the terrible natural disasters in Japan,” Mr Ferguson said.
“The Australia-Japan market is Australia’s eighth largest and makes a considerable contribution to our economy as well as opening up tourism and trade opportunities.
“Passenger numbers are forecast to grow by 25 per cent by 2020.
“These new arrangements will allow both countries’ airlines to capitalise on the continuing growth in passenger numbers and the business opportunities that will arise from tourism, trade and development in the region.”