Air India’s first direct flights to Australia

Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi called on Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh discussed the preparations and a joint campaign strategy, in the run up to the launch of the Air India’s maiden Dream liner flight from Delhi to Sydney and Melbourne on Aug 29.

The launch of the Dream liner service between India and Australia could further increase the tourist traffic between the two countries. Australia already ranks among the top ten source destinations for in-boundtourists to India. The number of Australians visiting India has significantly risen in the last five years, from 1, 35, 925 in 2007 to 1, 86, 002 in 2011. Besides the large Indian diaspora in Australia will also be benefited through this service.

Both the Ministers are scheduled to travel on the Air India’s maiden Dreamliner flight to Australia next month and participate in the road shows in Sydney and Melbourne to spread awareness and boost the prospects of bi-lateral tourism.

It may be recalled that the then Australian Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson had met Chiranjeevi in Dec last year and had requested for direct air connectivity to boost tourism between the two countries. The launch of the Dreamliner service is a significant step in this direction.

To effectively leverage the launch of the Dreamliner, Ministry of Tourism will be organizing road shows in Australia, with the participation of Air India and the Travel and Tourism Industry to build on the better connectivity between two countries.
Tourism Australia’s Managing Director Andrew McEvoy welcomed the decision by India’s national carrier Air India to launch direct nonstop flights to Sydney and Melbourne – marking a return to the Australian market after 16 years.

“Key to unlocking India’s long term tourism potential is improved air access and capacity. Securing direct flights to Australia is critical to securing a share of the 50 million Indians expected to travel overseas by 2020,” he said.

“Preliminary analysis suggests we’ll need around 345,000 additional seats to meet the expected demand for Australia from India out to 2020. On top of the capacity that already exists, these new, direct services soon to be launched by Air India represent a huge boost in realizing the full potential of this important market.

“As with most of our recent aviation success stories, this positive outcome owes much to a team Australia approach. Sydney and Melbourne Airports, Destination New South Wales and Tourism Victoria all deserve great credit for getting this deal done and we look forward to combining our marketing resources to ensure the new services are now aggressively promoted within India,” McEvoy said.
He said that under its India 2020 tourism plan, Tourism Australia had already doubled its marketing spend in India this year, and had made creating a sustainable, competitive aviation market between Australia and India one of its key priorities.
Close to 160,000 Indians visited Australia in 2012, spending nearly A$800m. By 2020, Tourism Australia believes the market has the potential to rise in annual value to up to A$2.3 billion and deliver 300,000 annual visitors.

source: indianweekender, 25 July 2013

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