26 September 2023

Barr seeks NY, Dallas flight connections on trade mission to the US

| Ian Bushnell
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Chief Minister Andrew Barr

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr: forging new aviation ties is part of his mission to bring more Americans to Canberra. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr left Canberra this morning on an eight-day trade mission to the United States, focusing on aviation, tourism, investment, medical research and economic development.

A key part of the visit will be to put the case for flight connections between Canberra and US, including New York and Dallas.

Mr Barr is leading the mission accompanied by Commissioner for International Engagement Brendan Smyth and officials from Visit Canberra and the Australian National University.

He said in a statement that the goal of the mission was to further develop the ACT’s position as a desirable location for US tourists, a safe place to invest, a leader in innovation, and Australia’s knowledge and research capital.

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The United States was the ACT’s third largest inbound international tourism market, including government, defence, business, education and leisure travel.

“Following the successful commencement of twice weekly direct Fiji Airways services to Canberra in July, there is potential to grow these services further,” he said.

“From October, a third weekly flight has been scheduled, adding nearly 9000 additional inbound seats per year.

“Canberrans also benefit from more direct services with travel to multiple US destinations possible without having to fly via Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.”

Mr Barr said the government, in partnership with Tourism Australia, Fiji Airways and Visit Canberra, wanted to further grow demand out of the US to Canberra.

“This significantly enhances the prospect of additional flights being added to Fiji Airways weekly schedule between Canberra and Nadi,” he said.

The government also wanted to enhance flight connections with the US east coast and south through one-stop transits between Canberra and New York (via Auckland) and Canberra and Dallas.

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Mr Barr said the US was one of the ACT’s strongest international partners and Australia’s largest economic partner.

The nation was identified as a key market in the ACT Government’s International Engagement Strategy and T2030: ACT Tourism Strategy 2023-2030.

The trade mission will visit Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC.

Mr Barr will meet with Australian Ambassador Kevin Rudd, senior Austrade and DFAT executives, Tourism Australia, Fiji Airways, US travel agents, US investors, US Government officials, the President of the American Australian Association, medical research companies and several cultural and live performance venues.

The estimated cost of the Chief Minister’s delegation is around $55,000, subject to fluctuations in the exchange rate.

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optimusmaximus3:29 pm 28 Sep 23

Just what the ACT needs right now…to slip further into debt after having its credit rating downgraded. This is straight out of former New South Wales deputy premier John Barilaro’s playbook. Surely this money could be better spent on health care in the ACT, such as helping to fund one of the many diagnostic imaging machines at TCH which are over the hill and constantly breaking down. These are all subject to MBS (Medicare Benefits Schedule) capital sensitivity rules, which basically means Medicare subsidies will no longer be payable for services provided by these machines as they are past the manufacturers ‘end of life’ age.

I’m not really sure there’s really any viable transpacific routes for the at least 15 hour route to the west coast of America. The only airline that may be able to do something is United out of SFO, who recently added Christchurch.

The recent addition of Fiji Airways to CBR has actually aided transpacific travel and if some of the rumours are true and Qantas uses its coming soon a220s for a route like CBR-AKL, we may get a one stop to at least JFK and possibly a few other destinations if QF expands out of AKL.

Brendan Smyth ! “”accompanied by Commissioner for International Engagement Brendan Smyth “”

I hadn’t heard of ole Smythy for years.
Glad to know he’s still about, and still working hard innn what ever he does.

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