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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1284

Senator MULVIHILL - I direct my question to the Minister for Civil Aviation. Does the Minister see any resemblance in the current Gethsemane being endured by Qantas Airways Ltd in its struggle with rival international airlines over charter flight rates to the battle that Lufthansa German Airlines had with competitors on the Atlantic run? Are there any lessons to be learnt from the latter confrontation?

Senator COTTON - I really do not understand the biblical bit although I appreciate the reference. It is true that in the international flying world 2 things of great consequence have been happening for some time and they have manifested themselves in the last 18 months. There has been substantial over-capacity in practically every international airline. At the same time there has been a general tendency for the traffic to slow down. There has been also the other factor with which we in Australia have been most concerned, and that is to stimulate travel at lower cost levels so that more people can engage in it. Australia is in a more difficult position because it is further away from the great world centres than probably any other country. The European situation is not quite analogous. What is analogous is the struggle for markets by the various countries and the various carriers and Australia's attempt to do what it can lo hold its share of the market and give its own people the opportunity of cheaper travel than they have previously enjoyed.

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