Australian Delegation led by Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu meets Civil Aviation Minister

An Australian delegation led by H.E. Ted Baillieu, the Premier of Victoria today called on Ch. Ajit Singh, the Minister of Civil Aviation in New Delhi.

The delegation, among other things, discussed the proposed launch of direct air services by the Air India from New Delhi to Melbourne. The Victorian Premier Mr. Baillieu mentioned that there is a sizable population of Indians in Melbourne. The commencement of direct Air India flight to Melbourne would therefore be in the larger interests of Indian population residing in Australia and also in the business interest of the two countries. The Premier of Victoria, H.E. Ted Baillieu also apprised the Minster of Civil Aviation that there is huge scope for Air India to take flights to Europe via Melbourne, which can also be exploited in future.

Air India has proposed to launch direct services to Australia from Delhi commencing from about the third quarter of 2012-13, using the B787 aircraft which are expected to be inducted in May this year. When these services are in place, Air India would be the only carrier serving the India-Australia market non-stop. The airline expects that the non-stop services to Australia would be a cash positive venture after getting various concessions from the Government of Victoria and New South Wales, and will operate at over 75 per cent passenger load factor on an average round the year.

Air India is holding fresh negotiations with the State Governments of Victoria and New South Wales as well as the Airport Authority at Sydney and Melbourne to seek further concessions to make direct Air India flights cost effective. H.E. Ted Baillieu, the Premier of Victoria has assured the Air India for all support in this regard.

It is estimated that the traffic between India and Melbourne and Sydney is equal and ranges between 1,25,000 to 1,30,000 each per annum.

The total size of the traffic moving between India and Australia has been estimated at about 3,35,000 passengers per annum in each direction. This constitutes tourists, VFR, business, students and immigrants. In the year 2010 the tourist arrivals from Australia to India was about 1,65,000 and from India to Australia this figure was about 1,40,000.

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