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Wednesday, 9 May 1984
Page: 1884

(Question No. 727)

Senator Bolkus asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 8 March 1984:

(1) Can the Minister for Aviation confirm that of seven cities suggested for stopovers in the new Qantas Airways Limited fare concession deal, Adelaide is not included; if so, can the Minister explain why South Australians are excluded from the benefits of increased tourism, even though the packages are being subsidised by all Australians.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) It has been practice in recent years to leave international airlines serving Australia, including Qantas, as free as possible to set fares in accordance with their commercial judgment and to meet market demands. This makes for a more competitive environment which is in the interests of consumers generally.

I am advised that on 1 January this year Qantas introduced a new promotional fares package for travel from the United States to Australia which contains a range of new fares designed to attract more American tourists to travel to Australia. I am also advised by the company that these fares are cost related and not subsidised by other Qantas fares.

This package enables United States tourists to travel to Australia and stop over at Australian cities which are directly served by Qantas. These points include Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Qantas does not operate online services between Adelaide and the United States.

However, the new Qantas fares package does allow tourists from North America wishing to make a combined visit to New Zealand and Australia to travel on Qantas services to Perth on a routing which enables the tourists to stopover at Adelaide en route to Perth using the same fare as tourists travelling to Perth on direct Qantas services from North America.

The honourable senator will also be aware that Trans Australia Airlines and Ansett Airlines of Australia recently introduced fixed price discount air fares aimed at encouraging greater domestic travel by international tourists. These fixed price fares offer generous stopovers for open jaw or circular travel at discounts of up to 48 per cent off the normal economy fare. As an international gateway port, Adelaide is well positioned to gain maximum advantage from the tourism benefits which will flow from these fares.