New agreement opens China to more flights

More flights, greater competition and lower fares on routes between Australia and China are now possible following the signing of a new air services agreement.

The new arrangements will increase the available seats on routes between China and Australia by 70 per cent by the end of this year, and, consequently, air cargo capacity.

The national airlines of both countries will immediately be able to offer up to 10,500 seats per week between Australia’s major gateway airports and China, and a further 4,000 seats from November. Previously, seat allocations were capped at 8,500.

The new agreement also provides:

  • A special capacity entitlement to accommodate new services between China and Brisbane, with 2,000 of the additional seats for Chinese airlines quarantined for flights into and out of the Queensland capital.
  • Further opportunities for Australian airlines to operate between China and other destinations such as Europe, while allowing Chinese carriers to operate to additional points beyond Australia.
  • An opportunity for the airlines of both countries to operate via a larger number of intermediate points.

Significantly, the latest agreement contains a shared commitment to commencing negotiations aimed at concluding an ‘open skies’ agreement, an outcome that would remove most – if not all – of the existing limitations on Australian and Chinese airlines operating between the two countries.

Today’s announcement is a significant breakthrough, reinforcing the importance of Australia’s economic relationship with China, now Australia’s largest trading partner.

It will allow the airlines of both sides to better compete within the rapidly-growing Asia-Pacific region and it positions the Australian aviation industry at the forefront of the rapidly developing Chinese market.

Source: T and L News

The Asia-Pacific is now the world’s biggest aviation market and last year alone, nearly 1.4 million people travelled between Australia and China. In fact, over the past 5 years passenger growth on routes between our two countries has averaged 16.9 per cent.