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Wednesday, 13 September 1972
Page: 741


Senator LAUCKE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I direct a question to the Minister for Civil Aviation. Is price cutting in fares by Qantas Airways Ltd and other national airlines on international flights actually increasing the total demand for such flights or is price cutting merely resulting in the pro tern transfer of patronage from one airline to another, with serious diminution of gross income to all participating airlines? If there is no increase in overall air flight demand arising from the lower fares, does it not follow that profitability of all lines will suffer severely with long term serious detriment to international air flights and air travel generally?


Senator COTTON (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Civil Aviation) - lt is a fact that the campaign or effort - call it what you will - by both the Australian Government and Qantas Airways Ltd to bring about a lower level of fares for international flying to and from Australia has been remarkably successful in increasing the total demand for overseas flights both to and from Australia. lt is also a fact that in those circumstances Qantas has benefited substantially in both the total demand and the total revenue. Those facts would have been quite a substantial factor in helping Qantas to improve its position in a very difficult set of circumstances when capacity was very much on the increase, demand was tending to decrease and costs were rising. From every standpoint from which we have had to deal with the matter we have regarded the initiatives taken as being most satisfactory.







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