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China and Australia sign new air services agreement

The Hon Anthony Albanese, Australia's Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, has announced that the Chinese and Australian governments have signed a new air services agreement that allows the two countries to increase the number of available seats on routes between Australia and China by 70% before the end of 2010.

Albanese said that the national airlines of both countries will be able to offer up to 10,500 seats per week immediately, with a further 4,000 seats per week from November 2010. Prior to this agreement seat allocations were capped at 8,500 per week.

In addition to allowing Chinese carriers to operate 2,000 of the additional seats on routes between China and Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, the new agreement also allows Australian airlines to operate routes between China and other destinations such as Europe.