Melbourne Airport: "The Indian market is consistently growing, in fact last year, there was a 34% increase in visitors from India to Victoria, and Air India, by choosing Melbourne as their base, have seized this market opportunity. It is clear that Melbourne and the offerings of greater Victoria are instrumental to the growth of the education, leisure and business markets" CEO Chris Woodruff, Source: Melbourne Airport, 22-Jun-2010.
Air India to launch Delhi-Melbourne service
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China and Australia remove airline growth restrictions as China cautiously embraces open skies
China has agreed to liberalise passenger flights and remove capacity restrictions with Australia, its largest outbound long haul market after the United States. This is a relief to Chinese airlines, which face bilateral constraints in North America and Europe. The result is already evident as Chinese airlines deploy more capacity and larger aircraft to Australia.
In North American and European markets the local governments hold back on traffic right expansion (let alone open skies). But for Australia it was the Australian government, which signalled some years ago that it wanted to liberalise once China was ready – a time that has now come.
Australia's view was progressive and detached from bygone days of national carrier interest; Chinese airlines hold 90% of the market to Australia. Elsewhere many governments still hold back on Chinese traffic right expansion so their local airlines can continue to grow. There are 15 Chinese airports that have nonstop flights to Australia with a total of 27 airport pairs – figures that should expand in 2017 as the market evolves further with the Virgin Australia-HNA partnership.
Cebu Pacific Air reconsiders Melbourne under Tigerair Australia partnership as Sydney route improves
Cebu Pacific Air is again looking at expanding in the Australia market by launching flights to Melbourne. Efforts in recent months to improve Cebu Pacific’s performance in Sydney, which was launched in 2014, are bearing fruit and the airline is confident with Melbourne it can stimulate further demand in the Philippines-Australia market.
The LCC initially added Melbourne to its network plan in 2015 after the Philippines and Australia forged an extended air services agreement. But Cebu Pacific subsequently decided to shelve plans to launch Melbourne, and has instead been using additional A330 capacity to expand in its domestic and regional international market.
Melbourne is now back on the agenda and is the next priority – leapfrogging Honolulu – for Cebu Pacific’s long haul operation. A new partnership with Melbourne-based Tigerair Australia is a key driver in making Manila-Melbourne a viable route, along with the anticipated rapid growth in Australian visitor numbers to the Philippines.