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Tuesday, 25 March 1980
Page: 948


Senator MacGIBBON (QUEENSLAND) -My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport. Has the Minister seen the article in today's Courier-Mail that Ansett Airlines of Australia and Singapore Airlines Ltd are planning charter flights between Townsville and Singapore on 1 8 April as a forerunner to regular services? In view of the great necessity to develop this route for the benefit of Australia, and the justification for an airline other than Qantas Airways Ltd operating this route being based solely on the airline concerned having the appropriate aircraft to operate into Townsville airport, will the Minister assure the Senate that TransAustralia Airlines will be given equal opportunity to apply for and operate these routes?


Senator CHANEY - I am not aware of any report that appeared in the Courier-Mail this morning; I have not seen that newspaper. On the other hand, I am aware of some reports that suggest that Ansett Airlines of Australia has applied to the Department of Transport to operate a charter flight between Townsville and Singapore. Since Senator Rae asked a question on the same subject a little while ago, I have had further advice to the effect that the Department of Transport has not received any application of this nature at this stage. So, it is not a matter which is formally before the Government. If an application is made, it will be considered by the Department in accordance with the longstanding policy on the operation of charter flights. I am further advised that, in relation to the reported suggestion that an Ansett application would be part of a drive to operate regular international flights, the Government's policy is quite clear: Qantas is to remain the sole designated Australian scheduled carrier, at least until 1 98 1 when the situation will be reviewed. In light of that, it seems that the concern that the honourable senator has expressed for TAA need not bother him for another year or two.







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