Australia


New flights to strengthen travelling between Canada and Australia

by Ray Clancy on January 4, 2016

People travelling and moving between Australia and Canada are set to gain much greater access under a new bilateral air services arrangement announced by both governments.

Over the coming year gateway capacity in this market for business travellers, students and visitors will triple, offering new opportunities for both Australian and Canadian airlines and their passengers, according to Warren Truss, Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

dreamstimeextrasmall_9042412Under the new arrangements, carriers of both countries have gained immediate access to an additional 3,000 weekly seats between Canada and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. By December 2016, this capacity will reach a total of 9,000 seats, offering significant new potential for growth in the Canadian market.

“Outside the gateways there is now unrestricted capacity between Canada and all other points in Australia,” added Truss.

According to Richard Colbeck, Australian Tourism Minister, the changes would help grow visitor numbers from what is currently Australia’s 13th largest inbound tourism market.

“The Government’s efforts to expand flight capacity with Canada and other key markets like China and the United Arab Emirates are part of our broader, pro-growth policies backing an industry that supports around a million Australian jobs,” he explained.

“We’re also streamlining visa arrangements, cutting red tape, sharpening our international marketing and working to increase investment in tourism infrastructure. Tourism can be our fastest growing sector in the next decade but we need to act now to ensure it meets this potential,” he added.

There has been a growing demand for extra flights in both countries. Canada has long been a favourite destination for Australian travellers and vice-versa. New direct services have already boosted two way traffic with 6% growth in the 12 months to October 2015.

Indeed, daily flights between Vancouver and Brisbane could bring more than 90,000 additional travellers to Queensland every year, according to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

She welcomed the announcement from Air Canada of an extra four direct flights between British Columbia and Queensland, starting in June 2016, building on the three flights each week that had been previously announced.

“This is a market with strong growth potential and offers travellers from across North America and Canada easier access to Queensland. The flights are the first direct services between Canada and Queensland and are expected to generate $56 million for the state,” she pointed out.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said that North American visitors to Queensland grew by 9% in the year to September 2015 as more than 236,000 people from North America visited Queensland last year with holiday, visiting friends and relatives and business travel all increasing.

Brisbane Airport Corporation chief executive officer and managing director Julieanne Alroe said the now daily service is testament to the strong economic ties between Queensland and Canada.

“Clearly, Canada-Australia business ties are of increasing significance with our two economies sharing many major industries, like mining, agriculture and tourism, but complementing each other by operating opposing growing and tourist seasons,” she added.

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