Eithad Airways CEO James Hogan has met with Transport Minister Anthony Albanese in Canberra to press his case to increase the number of frequencies available between the Middle East and Australia.
Hogan said that the visit was timely given negotiations on a new air services agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Australian governments which are due to take place in February 2010. ”We are positioning our interests [before] the governments go into bilateral discussions in the new year and we will see what comes from that,” he was reported as saying in Fairfax newspapers. ”It’s really just planning access so we have the flexibility to move capacity.”
Etihad currently uses 21 of 28 weekly frequencies allocated to it and is seeking increases to bring its Sydney and Melbourne services to twice daily and its Brisbane services to daily, while it has also flagged plans to start services to Perth in the future. Emirates is also understood to be seeking additional rights as it continues to grow its frequencies to a number of cities around Australia.