Australia’s Gold Coast Airport announced its AUD100 million (USD93.7 million) redevelopment project will be completed in 2010 with the new terminal to open in Mar-2010 (Tweed Daily News, 17-Nov-2009).
Gold Coast Airport's new terminal to open in 2010
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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.
Lion Air Group begins international expansion from Indonesia with Batik Air Australia & India routes
The Lion Group is preparing to expand in Indonesia’s international market, with several new routes to Australia, India and East Asia. Lion is the domestic leader in Indonesia, its three Indonesian airline subsidiaries accounting for approximately half of total domestic capacity. However, the group has only a tiny presence in the Indonesian international market, having only five scheduled international destinations.
The full service subsidiary Batik Air has encountered delays in commencing operations to Australia and India but remains keen on serving both markets with multiple destinations. Meanwhile, its Malaysian affiliate Malindo Air is jump starting the group’s entrance in the Indonesia-Australia market with a new fifth freedom route from Bali to Brisbane, which will be launched on 31-Mar-2017.
International expansion is becoming strategically necessary for Lion as Indonesia’s international market is now growing faster than the much larger domestic market. AirAsia and Garuda have already been focusing more on international expansion, widening their lead over Lion in Indonesia’s international market.