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AAI wooing Qantas to start direct flights to Chennai

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is wooing Qantas Airways, Australia’s largest airline by fleet size, to start direct flights between Chennai and Perth or Chennai and Sydney, reports C. Sivakumar for The New Indian Express.

If direct operations start, it will benefit the large Indian diaspora in the country, said Chennai Airport Director Dr Sharad Kumar. Chennai is welcoming new airlines to experience the world-class facilities at the newly inaugurated terminal, added Dr Kumar.

Qantas is also planning to enhance its international foothold. Along with its subsidiary Jetstar, Qantas has launched the first non-stop flights between Australia and Bengaluru in Southern India. Currently, there are no direct flights from Chennai to Australia, and it takes more than 10 hours to travel to Perth with a stopover in Singapore. Direct flights from Perth to Chennai would cut down the travel time to nearly half.

Roger Cook, Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, Western Australia, recently attended the CAPA India Aviation Summit in New Delhi to discuss establishing a direct flight from India. Western Australia signed a letter of intent with the Tamil Nadu government to strengthen its relationship on March 20, 2023. Under the partnership, the two will work on economic cooperation, education, energy, mining, space and innovation, defence, agriculture, health and medical life sciences. Cook inaugurated the Chennai office in July 2022, marking the opening of Western Australia’s second office in India.

Dr Kumar said, “Tamil Nadu is one of the most happening states with robust growth in automobile, textiles, health and wellness and tourism sectors, which provides ample business opportunities for airlines and Qantas can be the early bird in tapping this potential.”

(Source: The New Indian Express)

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