Air deal opens gateways in Europe

Australia’s aviation footprint in Europe has been expanded, with the Federal Government settling new Air Services Arrangements with Italy, Cyprus and Greece.

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester announced the new arrangements last month and said they were part of the Government’s plan to expand Australia’s reach in the region.

“In settling revised air services arrangements with Italy, the Australian Government has delivered on an outcome long sought by the Australian aviation industry,” he said. “Under the Italy Air Services Agreement, Australian airlines can now significantly expand existing codeshare operations to Italy, a country more than 500,000 Aussies travelled to in 2016.

“Travel between Australia and Italy has been growing steadily for a number of years and it is important that our airlines can share in the growth,” he said.

The agreement allows for an Australia registered carrier to operate seven services a week in each direction.

The air services agreement between Greece and Australia will create more flexibility for each nation’s airlines, with carriers allowed to operate up to seven return services a week to the Mediterranean country. In addition, each country’s airlines will now be able to operate an unlimited number of freight services between Australia and Greece.

The Cyprus deal is a first for Australia and allows airlines to operate services between each country, either using their own aircraft or via code-share arrangements with other carriers.

“The Agreement further strengthens bilateral relationships between our two countries, and will enable increased tourism and trade opportunities,” Chester said. “The deal signed with Cyprus allows for unrestricted capacity and frequency on any aircraft type between Larnaka and/or Pafo on the island.”

Australian airlines will also be able to enter into co-operative marketing arrangements such as blocked space or code-sharing.

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