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Air passenger capacity to Australia up by 5 million seats.



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NEWS RELEASE

 

MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT & REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

HON MARK VAILE MP

 

(under embargo until 1am 18.6.98)

 

AIR PASSENGER CAPACITY TO AUSTRALIA UP BY 5 MILLION SEATS

 

A draft report released today on international air services by the Productivity Commission was welcomed by the Minister for Transport and Regional Development, Mark Vaile.

 

Mr Vaile said the draft report would encourage informed and valuable debate on the Australian Government’s international aviation policy.

 

‘It is important that the Government reviews policy that directly affects the nature of competition in international aviation,’ Mr Vaile said.

 

‘After the report is finalised in September, the Government will give careful consideration to its recommendations.’

 

Mr Vaile said the draft report proposes a number of initiatives the Government could consider to complement the significant liberalisation of international aviation that has been achieved to date.

 

‘Since the change of Government in March 1996, the capacity available for international passenger services has increased by 5 million seats a year - equal to an additional 249 Boeing 747 services per week.

 

‘Capacity equivalent to 80 dedicated B747 freighter services per week has been added to support our export industries.

 

‘The Government has also broken new ground with highly liberalised air freight arrangements with Luxembourg, Taiwan, Singapore and Germany which allow the operation of unrestricted capacity, routes and frequencies.

 

‘There is now no shortage of available capacity in most of our big overseas markets.

 

‘The difficulties currently facing the industry result from a downturn in demand and not a throttling of supply.

 

‘The real challenge is for tourism and other export industries to use these expanded opportunities’, Mr Vaile said.

 

Media inquiries: Peter Cassuben, 0417 980 009

 

18 June 1998

 

 

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