Aircraft company Airbus has its sights set on more of its mega-sized A380s flying into Perth and Brisbane, in a potential boom for business and the tourism industry.
Airbus A380 director of product marketing Richard Carcaillet told media in Sydney yesterday the two cities could join Sydney and Melbourne with 10,000 long-haul aircraft passengers passing through each a day by 2021, The Australian Financial Review reported.
Carcaillet said global air travel was forecast to double in the next 15 years. He predicted that the Airbus A380s, of which some designs can hold over 800 passengers, would be increasingly operated by airlines flying to Australia.
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Emirates will begin flying the double-deck planes into Brisbane Airport for the first time in October this year, and into Perth in 2014.
”Airlines consider Australia as a key destination for large aircraft and it is the case very clearly today with the A380,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“This is a very competitive market. The A380 is a competitive tool for airlines – it is the way to maximise the use of traffic rights and slots.”
Queensland Tourism Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind told SmartCompany this morning Brisbane was “ready and willing to receive the A380s”. He said the airport was capable of receiving and processing the aircraft and the larger volume of passengers.
“It is an endorsement of the city as a major place for tourism, business and events”, he says.
He says the proximity of Brisbane to Asia is seeing its popularity increase as a destination for international business conferences, and the modern aircraft will help make the long-haul flight more appealing for both business and leisure travellers.
In 2012, there were over 5,691,791 international visitors to Australia aged 15 years and over, according to the Tourism Research Australia December 2012 International Visitors Survey. This figure was up 15% on 2011.
The research showed in 2012 the average money spent per international visitor to Australia was $3316, and the total expenditure was ($18.9 billion), up 4% from the previous year.
New South Wales was the most popular destination in 2012, attracting 51% of visitors, followed by Queensland at 35% of visitors and then Victoria at 32%.