Friday, July 25, 2008

Bigger Thai and Brazilian skies for fuel-hit Australian airlines

Amid fuel-hit airlines’ consecutive moves to slash their capacity, the Federal Government has settled aviation arrangements with Brazil and Thailand to expand opportunities in the international aviation market.
Federal infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese has announced a new deal with Brazil, which will more than double the weekly frequency of all-cargo flights from three to seven.
The Government has also secured an aviation deal with Thailand, removing the previous limit of seven air freight services per week. Airlines will also be able to take on or set down cargo when operating via a third country and use their own or leased planes.
The arrangements with both countries also allow more passenger seats with increased flexibility on aviation routes.
“The number of people travelling between Australia and the two countries is up significantly, with average annual growth in the Australia-Brazil market of around 15 per cent of the past five years,” Mr Albanese said.
He added the Australia-Thailand aviation market is Australia’s 6th largest, with 980,000 people travelling between the two countries in the twelve months to May this year, representing an increase of 20 per cent.
“Through deals like the one we have just negotiated with the Government of Thailand, the Federal Government is successfully liberalising the international aviation market while protecting the national interest - an approach that's reducing air fares for Australians and providing economic opportunities for the Australian aviation industry,” he said.
“The new, less restrictive bilateral agreement will support and sustain this growth into the coming years.”

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