Clear skies for Canada connections

Media Release


16 December 2015

Joint release with:

Richard Colbeck

Minister for Tourism and International Education
Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment

Australian and Canadian holiday-makers and business travellers will gain much greater access under a new bilateral air services arrangement announced today.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss and Minister for Tourism and International Education Senator Richard Colbeck today announced the expanded two-way traffic with Canada.

“Over the coming year gateway capacity in this market will triple, offering new opportunities for both Australian and Canadian airlines and their passengers,” Mr Truss said.

“Under the new arrangements, carriers of both countries have gained immediate access to an additional 3,000 weekly seats between Canada and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

“By December 2016, this capacity will reach a total of 9,000 seats, offering significant new potential for growth in the Canadian market.

“Outside the gateways there is now unrestricted capacity between Canada and all other points in Australia.”

Senator Colbeck said the changes would help grow visitor numbers from what is currently Australia's 13th largest inbound tourism market.

“The Government's efforts to expand flight capacity with Canada and other key markets like China and the UAE are part of our broader, pro-growth policies backing an industry that supports around a million Australian jobs,” Senator Colbeck said.

“We're also streamlining visa arrangements, cutting red tape, sharpening our international marketing and working to increase investment in tourism infrastructure.

“Tourism can be our fastest-growing sector in the next decade but we need to act now to ensure it meets this potential.”

Mr Truss said the new arrangements also liberalise cargo capacity and traffic rights with unlimited freighter movements now possible between Canada and Australia.

“The cap on codeshare traffic rights has also been lifted giving carriers of both countries greater flexibility to offer codeshare services,” Mr Truss said.

“These more open arrangements will support a growing demand for extra flights, in both directions.

“Canada has long been a favourite destination for Australian travellers and vice-versa. New direct services have already boosted our healthy two-way traffic with 6 per cent growth in the 12 months to October 2015.

“The arrangements announced today provide scope for even more growth in the future, supporting our enduring business, tourism and people-to-people links with Canada and North America more broadly.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting the entry of Australian airlines into foreign markets and to ensuring we have the aviation capacity necessary to meet future demand.”