Oct 20, 2010

More flights between Australia and China on the way

More flights between Australia and China on the way

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

October 20 2010

In a major boost for the nation’s tourism industry, more seats on routes between Australia and China will be made available to cater for the expected spike in demand between November and the end of February.

Under arrangements successfully negotiated by the Gillard Labor Government the number of weekly flights between our two countries will increase by 60 per cent from 37 to 59 during this period.

There will also be a new non-stop service between Brisbane and Guangzhou.

That’s approximately an extra 6,300 seats per week between Australia’s major gateway airports of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and five Chinese cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou.

Already all three Chinese airlines which fly to Australia – Air China, China Southern and China Eastern – have indicated they will be increasing the frequency of services, and subject to final regulatory approval, a new fourth airline – Hainan Airlines – will introduce a non-stop service between Sydney and Shenzhen.

This announcement reinforces the importance of our economic relationship with China, now Australia’s largest trading partner and one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets.

Indeed over the past twelve months Chinese visitors to Australia have increased by 16 per cent to more than 410,000.

Going forward the Gillard Labor Government remains committed to the ultimate objective of an ‘open skies’ agreement with China which would remove most – if not all – of the existing limitations on Australian and Chinese airlines operating between our two countries.

As outlined in our Aviation White Paper, we support and will continue to actively pursue an open, safe and competitive international aviation market.