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Extra flights for boom in holiday traffic

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MEDIA RELEASE Minister for Transport Hon. Ralph wiiiis M.p. and Communications


27 October 1988



International airlines are expected to carry more than 200,000 extra passengers in and out of Australia between now and next March as a result of initiatives by the Federal Government.

The Minister for Transport and Communications, Ralph Willis, said today the Government's policy of encouraging international airlines to provide additional flights to meet peak travel demands was succeeding.

"The Government has now approved over 350 extra flights to assist airlines to meet this boom in holiday traffic, " Mr Willis said.

"For the period August 1988-March 1989, approvals have been given for Qantas to operate 114 additional flights, and 16 of the 30 foreign airlines operating in and out of Australia will have between them an additional 244 flights.

"As well as this, Qantas currently has more than 50 additional flights in its planning schedules which will operate as soon as passenger bookings justify the flights.

"Other carriers are expected to also apply for more flights, especially in December and January."

Mr Willis said most of the holiday demand had been on the routes to New Zealand and Hong Kong, and from Japan.

He said airlines had been able to gain approval for their supplementary flights within hours of application, and added that he had directed his Department to continue to process applications as quickly as possible.

"The Government's approach to increasing the number of supplementary flights has enabled the airlines to plan their marketing and aircraft utilisation with confidence," Mr Willis said.

"These additional flights will be operated on top of permanent increases in capacity, frequency and new route opportunities negotiated separately by the Government this year.

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"Those negotiations have laid the foundations for further promotion of inbound tourism from Japan, the USA, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Britain, Europe and South America.

"However, it is still possible that some holiday travellers may experience some difficulty in securing seats on some flights at particular times.

"The airlines are advising travellers that they should confirm their return travel before they leave Australia, or as soon as they get to their destination."

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Media inquiries:

Ministerial Hans Tscheppera (062) 77 7200 (w)

Departmental Brian Hill (062) 68 7612 (w) 48 8452 (h)