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Focus on international airline return will drive aviation and tourism recovery

02 December, 2021

Perth Airport says a strong focus on luring international airlines back to Perth will provide the State with the biggest bang for its buck in reconnecting WA to the world.

Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown says the State Government’s new Reconnect WA package is a significant down-payment on rebuilding aviation, tourism and international students.

 

“We very much welcome the Premier’s announcement,” Mr Brown said.

 

“Western Australia had built an enviable reputation before Covid hit for securing new links to overseas destinations.

 

“In the 12 months prior to Covid, we had added more than 500,000 new international seats to the Perth market and were on track to crack 15 million passengers in total.

 

“Instead, Covid hit and we lost almost nine million passengers, with international numbers plummeting by 97 per cent.

 

“We have consistently said that it will not be as simple as flicking a switch and expecting airlines and passenger numbers to return to normal”.

 

“We have worked closely with the State Government throughout the many challenges resulting from Covid, this package is a great start to what will be a big rebuild challenge.

 

“We are in a race with every other Australian State, and with other destinations in the Asia region, who are all working to attract international airline capacity.

 

“Targeting this money as announced will provide significant returns across the State. Independent modelling shows every new direct international service is worth around $70million a year to the local economy and generates 600 new jobs.”

 

Mr Brown said the other elements of the package would complement the push to bring international airlines back.

 

“We know our university sector has been hit hard by the loss of international students,” Mr Brown said.

 

“That has also impacted the tourism sector as international students are usually visited by their families, generating more economic activity.

 

“Promoting Perth and WA as a safe destination for international students, tourists, conference and business travellers will help add to the business cases we can put to international airlines to encourage their return.

 

“And that will help drive diversification of our economy.

 

“Aviation recovery will stimulate growth in our $12 billion tourism industry which supports 100,000 jobs, our $2 billion international student sector supporting 10,000 jobs, and our exporters who rely on passenger flights for 83 per cent of all air freight exports.”

 

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