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Outcome of Australia: UAE Air Services negotiations.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Mark Vaile MP Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Transport and Regional Services Leader of the Nationals

22 March 2007 047MV/2007


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Hon Mark Vaile MP, today announced the doubling of the number of services between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane by 2011 following the conclusion of air services talks.

"I welcome the successful outcome of this week's negotiations with the UAE which will provide Australia's airports and tourism industry with increased airline operations and tourists," Mr Vaile said.

"The Australian Government has negotiated a deal that will allow Emirates to operate an additional 35 flights each week to Australia by 2011. Recognising the importance of competition, the new arrangements will also allow new entrant Etihad Airways to operate an additional 21 flights each week to Australia by 2011.

"This is a five year strategic approach to growing our air services relationship with the region. It not only provides capacity ahead of demand, but importantly gives investment certainty for Australian and UAE carriers," Mr Vaile said.

"Carriers can now confidently commit their aircraft to the Australian market and Australian tourism and trade will be the beneficiaries."

"This expansion of services has been negotiated after careful consideration of the Middle East market, and recognises the significant hub and route advantages UAE carriers have over Australian carriers in accessing markets."

"Due to the openness of Australia's Air Services Agreement with the UAE Australian carriers will be able to operate an equivalent number of services to a wide variety of destinations in the UK, Europe, Africa or the Middle East via the UAE. Airlines can also avail themselves of flexible code sharing provisions, which will enable them to serve the Australia - UAE market and beyond in cooperation with other airlines."

"Importantly for the future, Airlines from both countries continue to have unlimited access to Australia's regional international airports, such as Adelaide, Gold Coast, Broome and Cairns."

A key element of the Australian Government's international air services policy is to encourage foreign carriers to commit to a long-term presence in Australia. Since commencing with 3 services per week in 1996, Emirates has consistently grown its services and links to Australia and made significant investments in Australia. These new arrangements will allow Etihad Airways to also

demonstrate their commitment to Australia.

The revised air services arrangements, signed in Abu Dhabi on 21 March, provide for a phased increase over five years in the capacity entitlements for UAE carriers operating from Dubai to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Peth from 49 services each week to 84 services each week. UAE carriers operating from Abu Dhabi (to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Peth) will be able to operate 28 services each week from 2010, up from the current 7 services.

"Australia places great importance on its relations with the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Our trade with these partners is growing, and increased air links between Australia and the UAE bring new opportunities for Australian consumers, the Australian tourism industry, and many other sectors of the Australian economy".

"The Australian Government has negotiated these substantially increased capacity entitlements. It is up to the airports, the tourism industry and the States to market themselves to the airlines", Mr Vaile said

Media Contacts

Richard Forbes ( Mr Vaile's Office ) 02 6277 7680 / 0418 273 475