Melbourne Airport


Increased airline capacity to UAE will drive passenger and tourism growth

Mar 22, 2007

Today’s announcement of a new air service agreement with the United Arab Emirates is welcome news for tourism and aviation.

The agreement allows Australian and UAE airlines to introduce an extra 56 flights per week between Australia and the UAE between now and 2011. Significantly, it allows for the immediate commencement of an additional daily service between Australia and Dubai.

Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Barlow welcomed the news, saying that strong aircraft passenger loads and declining seat capacity had supported the case for these additional services.

“For more than 12 months, declining international airline seats at Melbourne Airport has presented a significant constraint to economic and tourism growth in Victoria.

“Today’s announcement is particularly welcome as it provides the potential for new capacity between Australia and our key tourism market of Europe, and also offers an opportunity for airlines that have aircraft available and want to introduce flights on the route.”

“I congratulate Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Mark Vaile for delivering this agreement, on the back of other recent capacity increases. It recognizes the benefits of a more liberal approach to aviation agreements. This leadership will deliver a range of business, freight and tourism benefits in the national interest.”

“Over the last year Tourism Minister Fran Bailey’s department has delivered an excellent campaign, particularly effective in the UK, which has raised awareness of Australia and is stimulating growth. Today’s airline capacity announcement delivers Australia the seats to bring those tourists in.”

Emirates has already signaled its intention to increase its services to Melbourne – and this announcement
provides much needed seat capacity.

This is more good news for Victoria following last week’s announcement of an agreement that allows Qatar Airways to commence daily services into Melbourne.

Airline loads between Melbourne and Europe remain extremely strong, with capacity further tightened by the withdrawal of services from Austrian Airlines this month.

Back to Media release 2007 archive