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Thursday, 31 March 1966

Mr Webb (STIRLING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) b asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that the Fokker Friendship is the best type of aircraft operating between Perth and Darwin, whereas Viscounts, Electras and Boeing 727s operate between other mainland capital cities?

2.   If competition between Trans-Australia Airlines and Ansett-A.N.A. were permitted between Perth and Darwin, would this encourage the use of better types of aircraft on this route?

Mr Swartz - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows -

1.   yes.

2.   Not necessarily. The Perth-Darwin route is a long route with a fairly small flow of traffic from end to end. Hence to maintain, on an economic basis, a reasonable number of frequencies of flights per week it is necessary to use an aircraft of the appropriate size. The use of Electra and Boeing 727, and to some extent the Viscount, on this route would undoubtedly result in a less frequent service because such large aircraft could not operate to the present F.27 frequency with any prospect of breaking even commercially. Moreover, difficulties would arise in serving the many intermediate points which have airports not suitable for aircraft larger than F.27.

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