The Australian and Chinese governments have signed a new air services agreement which will increase the number of seats available between the two countries by 70 per cent from the end of this year, as well as giving Australian carriers onward rights from Chinese cities.
Under the new agreement, up to 10,500 seats per week will be available between Australia’s main gateway cities and China, with a further 4000 from November. The agreement also contains a special arrangement which quarantines 2000 seats for Chinese airlines to operate services to and from Queensland, while both Australian and Chinese carriers will be able to operate onward services from the respective countries.
Transport Minister Anthony Albanese hailed the new agreement, adding that the two countries have committed to commencing further negotiations leading to an open skies agreement between the two countries.
The agreement is likely to benefit Qantas by allowing it to operate services from Shanghai onwards to London, while it may allow V Australia to begin services to China, although there have been no indications that the carrier is intending to do so.