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Thursday, 17 February 1977
Page: 178

Mr CHAPMAN (KINGSTON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -Is the Minister for - Transport aware of recent newspaper advertisements by Qantas Airways Limited and British Airways Corporation which gave readers the immediate impression that they would be able to save $450 on return flights to Britain from 1 April, when in fact these cheaper fares do not apply until flights in October? Will the Minister ensure that in future Qantas and British Airways abide by the spirit as well as the letter of the trade practices legislation in relation to their advertising?

Mr NIXON -Qantas Airways Ltd and British Airways have announced a new cheap fare from Australia to the United Kingdom and from the United Kingdom to Australia. The fare is $850 in the off-peak season compared with the present fare for the same period of $1,104. There is no doubt that in general terms the new fare structure has been widely welcomed. Indeed, Qantas received some 6000 inquiries in the first week after the announcement about bookings at the new cheap rate.

In respect of the specific matter raised by the honourable member, I have sought information on it and I understand that the advertisement is in no way in breach of the trade practices legislation, the reason being that Qantas and British Airways have widely advertised the full fare structure, including peak and off-peak travel. Therefore no prospective traveller ought to be under any illusions as to the price he would be paying. I will, however, draw to the attention of Qantas the concern expressed in the honourable member's question.

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