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Friday, 1 May 1987
Page: 2478

(Question No. 4818)

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 20 October 1986:

(1) On what original data does his Department base its figures for (a) passenger traffic, (b) point of origin of passengers and (c) end to end passenger journeys.

(2) Does his Department co-operate with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in the collection and collation of this material; if so, in what ways.

(3) Does his Department use figures provided by the ABS or does it use its own.

(4) Is data from the ABS or his Department indicative of the actual point of origin, or does it represent only the final stage of international flights; if not, why not.

(5) If the figures which his Department uses are not representative of end to end traffic, does he or his Department use any other criteria in establishing whether new international services, to be conducted by either existing or new or proposed operators, should be pursued, refused, or agreed to; if so, what are they.

(6) Has he any proposals for the operation of either scheduled or charter, international passenger or freight services; if so, upon what criteria will he base his consideration of these proposals.

(7) Since April 1986 has he refused any application for permission to any existing or proposed charter or scheduled international passenger or freight service; if so, why, and did he base any of his conclusions on the traffic flow figures provided by his Department or the ABS.

Mr Peter Morris —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) Data supplied by international airlines to the Department of Aviation, and data collected by the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs from information provided on incoming and outgoing passenger cards and compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics; (b) The ABS; (c) The Department of Aviation and the ABS.

(2) The Department of Aviation has no involvement in the collection and collation of statistics compiled by the ABS.

(3) Both.

(4) Data supplied by the ABS include point of origin of air passenger journeys; data are also compiled from uplifts (and discharges) supplied by the airlines, consistent with the Department's other scheduled passenger collections, detailing, by direction, the initial point of uplift (and final destination) of the revenue traffic by flight number.

(5) Figures used by my Department do indicate end to end traffic.

(6) Proposals for both scheduled and charter international passenger and freight services are continually being received and evaluated by the Department of Aviation.

Applications for charter flights generally are processed quickly and there are never large numbers of outstanding requests at any one time. Proposals for additional scheduled services by overseas airlines which already fly to Australia come before the Government from time to time and are negotiated with the authorities of the countries concerned in accordance with our bilateral air service arrangements. Such proposals for increases in scheduled capacity, and requests for the introduction of new scheduled services, are examined on the basis of end-to-end traffic.

Charter applications are considered on their individual merits. Inbound tourism to Australia is of special interest and tourist charters which are compatible with the Government's objective of promoting the development and maintenance of scheduled services can expect favourable consideration. Sympathetic consideration may also be given to programs of charters designed to test and develop routes on which end-to-end traffic levels are not sufficient to support scheduled services. Proposed flights may not be of a nature and of such regularity as to assume the characteristics of scheduled services.

(7) Since April 1986 requests have been received from a number of Governments for the introduction of direct scheduled services. Requests from Poland, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and the Seychelles for direct air services have been declined on the grounds that there is insufficient end-to-end traffic travelling between the countries concerned and Australia to support commercially viable scheduled services. Conclusions were based on ABS statistics. The Governments of Sri Lanka, Mauritius and the Seychelles were advised that programs of charters would be approved in the interests of developing traffic levels. The Seychelles have taken up this offer and are operating charter flights. Air Mauritius also operated a number of charter flights over the Christmas/New Year period.

Since April 1986, of the 55 applications for various types of charters, including programs, that have been received, only one has been refused. An application to operate a series of charters between the USA and Australia was not agreed on the grounds that the proposal entailed de facto scheduled services. Rejection was not based on traffic flow figures.

Two other charter applications during this period were approved for carriage of passengers but not cargo, since cargo space was available on the scheduled carriers at that time. One of these charters was by MAS from Adelaide to Penang in August 1986 and the other was a Singapore Airlines inclusive tour charter program in January/February 1987 between Darwin and Singapore.