Avalon airport closer to international flights with Philippine MoU

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The Australian government has signed a memorandum of understanding that will set the stage for carriers from the Philippines to launch daily services to Melbourne's Avalon airport.

"The memorandum of understanding with the Philippines signed last week provides new dedicated capacity for services between the Philippines and Avalon airport, consistent with the government's commitment to work with Avalon as it develops its plans to become an international airport," says a spokeswoman for Australia's Department of Transport and Infrastructure.

The spokeswoman adds that there have been no other changes to the air services agreement with the Philippines, but the two countries have agreed to future talks that will further liberalise rights.

No carriers have yet announced if they plan to launch services between the Philippines and Avalon, although it may be a target for Cebu Pacific Air, which has indicated plans to start services to Australia in the near future.

Avalon airport said in February that it had been holding discussions with some carriers about launching international services to the airport, which is located approximately 55km west of Melbourne's central business district.

At that time, the airport's chief executive Justin Giddings told Flightlgobal Pro that a dedicated international terminal at the airport could be built within six months of securing international flights.

The airport, which is leased by logistics company Linfox from the Department of Defence, has been handling domestic Jetstar Airways flights since 2004, and briefly handled flights from Tiger Airways Australia before it was temporarily grounded in 2012.