Feb 12, 2010

More seats on routes between Australia and the Middle East

More seats on routes between Australia and the Middle East

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

February 12 2010

Australia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have settled a new air services agreement, opening the way for new international flights into Australia’s regional airports.

Under the new arrangements, airlines such as Emirates and Etihad will be able to operate up to an additional seven services a week into Australia’s major gateway airports (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth), provided these services go via a regional centre such as Cairns, Darwin or Adelaide.

This development has only been made possible because of the decision we took in our Aviation White Paper to allow foreign airlines greater access to our four major gateways for flights that make stopovers at regional airports.

We are determined to showcase regional Australia’s world-class destinations and provided a much need tourism boost to our regional economies.

In addition to providing new opportunities for regional areas, the new arrangements with the UAE allow for the continued growth of services into and out of Australia’s major airports.

As well as the previously agreed seven extra services a week from March 2010, Etihad will be entitled to a further seven from March 2011. At present the airline operates 21 services a week into and out of Australia.

Existing arrangements allow Emirates an extra seven weekly services from March 2010 and a further seven from March next year were confirmed, building on the 70 services they currently operate.

Air Arabia – a UAE airline based in Sharjah – will also be entitled to operate up to seven services a week from March 2011.

Reciprocal capacity increases were agreed for Australian airlines.