Tourism minister calls for more direct flights from India

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has called on airlines and airports to open up more direct flights to India to capitalise on the growing demand from Indian visitors.

At least one million Indian tourists are expected to visit Australia every year by 2030, according to Tourism Australia.

Birmingham’s call for more flights comes as the representatives from 200 airlines and 350 airports are in Adelaide for the World Routes Aviation forum.

Currently there are eight direct flights a week to Australia from India, with nine out of 10 travellers forced to stop over in south East Asia.

“Why fly over Adelaide, Perth or Darwin when each of them are amazing gateways into Australia that are closer to India,” Birmingham said.

“Australia is seeing double-digit growth year on year of visitors coming year on year from India to Australia.”

To meet this demand, about 60,000 additional seats were needed each year, on average, over the next 10 years, according to Birmingham.

“That is the equivalent to around an extra 250 direct flights per year, or five extra flights per week being added each and every year,” he said.