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Further liberalisation of Air Services needed to grow operations.



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Fri, 15th February 2008 FURTHER LIBERALISATION OF AIR SERVICES NEEDED TO GROW OPERATIONS

Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, the Service Economy & Tourism

The Australia-US ''open skies'' agreement should be the first step in the Rudd Government's commitment to maintaining the Coalition's policy of liberalising air services, Shadow Minister for Tourism Steven Ciobo said.

''The finalisation of the Australia-US open skies agreement - an initiative of the Coalition Government - will expand air travel capacity and increase competition on one of the most protected air routes,'' Mr Ciobo said.

''In going forward, it is important the Rudd Government continues the Coalition's commitment to air services liberalisation, in the interest of the Australian tourism sector.

''Increasing capacity on international flights into Australia will provide new opportunities for Australia's $81 billion tourism industry.

''When we've got more flights, and cheaper flights, it only makes sense that the Australian tourism sector will reap the rewards.

''I am pleased airlines like V Australia, Virgin Blue's long-haul arm, will be able to enter the lucrative trans-Pacific market later this year when it is launched, giving passengers even greater choice of carriers.

''Travellers will also have a greater choice of flights during peak periods at a much more competitive rate, increasing Australia's marketability in the US.''