ACCI welcomes air service agreement inquiry
5 Sep 2023|
The decision by the Senate today to inquire into Australia’s bilateral air service agreements is welcomed by business and the tourism industry.
“ACCI has been calling for an inquiry into the government’s decision to deny Qatar Airways’ application for additional flights, noting the significant impact it will have on the tourism sector,” ACCI chief executive officer Andrew McKellar said.
“Many leaders in the aviation and tourism industry, along with competition experts, have questioned the decision and the government still has not clarified its reasoning.
“We welcome the Senate’s decision to review the Qatar Airways decision and any other proposals for additional air services in the past 12 months.
“The inquiry will be able to examine the events in the lead-up to and include the Qatar Airways decision, as well as the economic impact and other ramifications.
“The Qatar Airways decision has set a poor precedent for future applications from other airlines. However, it also has a significant financial impact on the tourism industry, with one estimate suggesting it will cost up to $788 million of foregone revenue.
“Through Australian Chamber – Tourism, we have written to the Minister for Transport seeking to meet and discuss the impact the decision will have on the tourism industry. While we await a response, we are glad that the Senate recognises the importance of examining this matter.
“The tourism industry is still rebuilding from the pandemic. Anything we and the government can do to assist in that recovery is essential. We are keen to work with the government to increase the number of international flights into Australia.”