Australia and South Korea have signed a new air services agreement that removes restrictions on dedicated freighter services and allows for a massive hike in passenger travel between the two countries.

The Australian minister for transport and regional services, Mark Vaile, says in a statement that the two countries have signed a new air services agreement that increases each side’s traffic rights by 1,000 seats per week to 8,500 seats.

“Once airlines of either side have fully utilised the entitlement of 8,500 seats, a further increase of 1,000 seats will become available to both sides,” he says. South Korea’s allocation only applies to Australia’s four major gateways – Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney – and that “capacity to all other international airports in Australia is unrestricted”. Vaile also says all restrictions on the operation of freighter services have been removed.

korean airlines A330

A spokeswoman in Canberra for the minister says: “For passenger services, there has been an increase in the number of intermediate and beyond points at which the airlines of both sides may exercise own-stopover rights only. These do not include points in the United States.”

The spokeswoman adds: “For cargo services, full traffic rights for cargo-only services are available at any intermediate and beyond point.” The previous air services agreement between the two countries was signed in March 2004, she adds.

Asiana Airlines has a seven-times-weekly Boeing 777 service from Seoul to Sydney and Korean Air (KAL) has a seven-times-weekly Boeing 777 service on the route. KAL also has a five-times-weekly Airbus A330 service from Seoul to Brisbane and a twice-weekly freighter service from Seoul to Sydney.

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Source: Flight Daily News