Aidan wrote:Even if Adelaide benefits, this seems to me to be very bad policy. Firstly I think quotas are a bad idea - a market based approach is better. Secondly, even if the government insist on quotas, encouraging stopovers without cabotage is either a waste of capacity or an encouragement to fly significantly further than they otherwise would (the classic example being Adelaide to Singapore via Melbourne). Either way it's a waste of fuel.
I think I've said before that I'd like to see cabotage allowed on Adelaide flights stopping at regional airports. I still believe this to be the case, but there are two non-policy obstacles. The first is that few regional airports are set up to handle international passengers. But I'd expect the facilities would be introduced if the airlines wanted to go there. The second problem is more serious: regional airports generally have fairly short runways unsuitable for widebody aircraft. I think the Boeing 787 will solve this problem, but I've not actually seen any data on its runway requirements.
It would be safe to say that a good chunk of all international passengers out of Adelaide are stopping in Melbourne or Sydney anyway, because they're connecting with Qantas, Jetstar or Virgin.
And usually that's because of a lack of direct flights.
It's also worth noting that the Cathay Pacific flight into Adelaide lands here first, before continuing onto Melbourne, so in effect that's a good thing if you're just coming here. It's the same when the Qantas flight to Singapore left Sydney and came through Adelaide before heading overseas. Anything to encourage more flights through Adelaide should be taken onboard. Ideally we'd have pure and simple direct flights, but I don't think the waste of fuel idea applies if you have passengers paying to travel and therefore using that fuel.
Surely it does if they're paying to travel in a direction that takes them further away from where they actually want to go?
When they talk of regional airports as stop-overs, they mean places like Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns, the Gold Coast and Broome - airports that can handle large jets and places where people want to go or depart from. They're not talking about 747s being forced to stop at Whyalla or Coober Pedy.
Of course, but the Gold Coast runway is significantly shorter than that of Brisbane, for example.
I think you're a bit confused as well, because I can't conceive a situation where a flight would be stopping at another regional airport before continuing to Adelaide and then onto the big four.
I think you're the one who's confused, because I'm not suggesting going on to the big four, and I would not support cabotage to any of them.
I'm thinking of things like:
Adelaide to Honolulu via Sunshine Coast
Adelaide to Manilla via Darwin
Adelaide to Surabaya via Broome - possibly as an extension of Air Asia's flight from our sister city Georgetown (Penang) to Surabaya.
Most places are on the way to somewhere!