Canberra Focuses on International Flights

Canberra’s push for international flights in 2013 will step up this month with the establishment of a taskforce to coordinate the city’s efforts, according to ACT MLA Andre Barr.

The taskforce will comprise members drawn from the business and tourism sectors to work with Canberra International Airport and the ACT government.

“Now is the time for a Canberra team to come together to pitch to airlines to start direct international flights to and from Canberra. In recent months, the ACT government has been meeting with key stakeholders and last month I visited New Zealand to hold initial discussions with aviation and airline representatives about future direct services,” Mr Barr said.

“Following meetings with Air New Zealand, Wellington Airport and Positively Wellington Tourism there is a consensus that with the appropriate level of investment and collaboration we could attract significant levels of business and leisure travellers in both directions. Positive discussions with Tourism Australia to market cooperatively into cities that could be serviced by direct flights have also taken place.

“Last year the government committed $100,000 for an Airline Access Development Fund. From this has come a demand analysis report – which included consultation with key stakeholders – that identifies and evaluates potential markets to attract direct international flights. A draft report is currently under consideration and further international routes such as Canberra-Singapore are being examined,” said Mr Barr.

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