15-Feb-2010 9:41 AM

Australia and China finalise new air services agreement; 'open skies' agreement on the agenda

Australia and China finalised (14-Feb-2010) an expanded bilateral air services agreement, which will increase available seats by 70% by the end of 2010.  Details include:

  • Seat allocation: Designated 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 Nov-2010. Previously, seat allocations were capped at 8,500;
  • Special capacity entitlements: A special capacity entitlement to accommodate new services between China and Brisbane, with 2,000 of the additional seats for Chinese airlines quarantined for services to/from Brisbane;
  • Airline cooperation: 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. The also exits opportunities for the airlines to operate via a larger number of intermediate points;
  • Open skies agreement: The agreement contains a shared commitment to commence negotiations aimed at concluding an 'open skies' agreement. 

Close to 1.4 million people travelled between Australia and China in 2009, with growth on routes between the countries averaging 16.9% over the past five years. [more]

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