25 November 2020
International arrival caps have been confirmed for international airlines flying into Australia through to the end of the year, with flight arrivals to Sydney allocated at 30−35 passengers per flight. Unfortunately, these caps will result in more than 10,000 Australians being stranded overseas come 31 December. While the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) 1 welcomes the increases to some arrival caps, we estimate that over 10,000 Australians who are currently on official airline waiting lists will not have an opportunity to return home, while airlines continue to fly into Australia with predominantly empty aircraft. These waiting lists represent only some of the Australians overseas seeking to return home, due to most international airlines halting ticket sales some months ago in an attempt to clear the existing backlog of ticket holders.
BARA firmly believes that the progressive re-opening of domestic borders presents an opportunity to bring home many more Australians overseas before the end of 2020 and into the early part of 2021. BARA understands that allocating this freed-up capacity to international flights could permit over 2,000 additional international arrivals each week, making a large difference to the Australians still overseas who currently do not have any prospects of returning home before the year’s end.
21 October 2020
The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) notes the number of Australians registered to return home has now increased to over 32,000 despite passengers arriving each day. International airlines were finally today allocated their per flight passenger caps to apply in just four days from now, and those caps cover only four weeks from 25 October. This delay has frustrated international airlines, and disrupted their ability to meet allocated cap numbers; it will also lead to fewer Australians being able to return home in the four weeks to 21 November. It has already led to yet more uncertainty and stress for Australians stranded overseas because international airlines cannot tell many of them when they will be able to travel home.
BARA understands that at present, each week some 1,600 people undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine when they enter New South Wales from Victoria. If, when the requirements on arrivals from Victoria are eased, this domestic quarantine capacity were allocated to international flights, it would make a big difference. Expanding the New Zealand Safe Travel Zone into all Australian states and territories and a regulatory framework that permits the commercial provision of quarantine services would also benefit Australians stranded overseas.
16 September 2020
International airlines have told the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) that there are likely some 30,000 Australians in the United Kingdom (UK) seeking to return home. Under the current tight international passenger arrival caps into Australia, it will likely take well into 2021 to return all these Australians, noting that some increase in the caps might be forthcoming. Helping the Australians who are camped out at Heathrow Airport is necessary, but it does not stem the underlying cause of why they are stranded in the UK. That requires an increase in quarantine capacity in Australia combined with a risk-based approach to managing COVID-19.
9 September 2020
International airlines with some 30,000 seats on over 140 flights arrived into Australia in the first week of September. Only about 4,000 of these seats could be offered to passengers while 26,000 (87%) had to remain empty under the tight international passenger arrival caps. It’s clear Australians overseas seeking to return home need better help, and the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) considers the best way to do so is to increase the arrival caps into the major capital city airports. Additional quarantine capacity for international flights at secondary international airports might not be commercially viable for airlines and hence not help Australians stranded overseas.
2 September 2020
The current tight international arrival caps often limit passengers to 30 or less per flight. They are unlikely to be commercially sustainable for long-haul international flights and also make it difficult to return Australians home in an orderly manner. The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA), consistent with the position of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), wants the mandatory quarantine arrangements for all arriving Australians to be reviewed so a risk-based framework can be established. Greater quarantine capacity that could be used more flexibly would also support Australians to return home and help keep international flights commercially viable.
28 August 2020
To date around 19,000 Australians overseas seeking to return home have formally registered their intent to do so with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. However, available information suggests more than 100,000 Australians could be seeking to return home, which is consistent with the reported difficulties faced by many and the current backlog of passengers for international airlines. Assuming 19,000 are but a modest proportion of a much larger total, the international arrival caps will need to be increased to support more orderly outcomes for passengers and international airlines than are presently occurring. Under the existing tight international arrival caps into Australia, with passenger numbers on many arriving international flights capped at about 30, it will likely take six months for international airlines to return 100,000 Australians home.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) 2018-19 Airport Monitoring Report describes the shortfalls international flights experience with the basic airport services necessary to support their efficient operations. The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) notes the latest ACCC report yet again highlights the absence of effective measures to hold airport operators accountable to deliver airport services to a standard consistent with the prices they charge.
12 December 2019
The Australian Government has clearly defined the objectives that Australia’s aviation industry should achieve, namely efficient, responsive and high quality air transport services. To support these objectives, however, international airlines are left with an economic regulatory regime for airports that in practice deems systematic failures in basic airport services as acceptable, along with airports services agreements that contain little practical commercial content as apparently no cause for concern. The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) expects it will be difficult to stem a widening disconnect between worthy stated objectives and the actual outcomes for international passengers and airlines in the face of growing industry challenges.
23 October 2019
The Productivity Commission’s Final Report continues to downplay the genuine and legitimate concerns international airlines have over the provision and pricing of airport services. International airlines ask the Australian Government to take the known problems in airport services seriously; and that commercial arbitration, rather than revamped monitoring, fits with delivering value for money in airport services and supporting efficient aircraft operations.
13 March 2019
The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) has responded to the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on the economic regulation of airports.
This paper identifies initiatives for how airlines, air navigation service providers and governments can capitalise on emerging aircraft and air navigation technologies to improve operational performance of aircraft, benefitting the environment and the community.
BARA’s member airlines have identified the infrastructure service outcomes necessary to enable commercially viable international air services at the proposed Western Sydney Airport.
This paper articulates a series of pathways which aim to promote the ongoing development of air navigation services to allow aircraft to operate more efficiently and predictably, while maintaining safety. Central to this is ensuring investments in air navigation technologies and procedures are customer-driven.
Jet fuel is international aviation’s largest cost item, often representing over 40 per cent of an airline’s operating costs in Australia. The current uncompetitive supply of jet fuel unnecessarily increases industry costs and constrains growth.
BARA’s vision for aviation in Australia is ‘High quality, adaptive and efficient’.
BARA has identified four key outcomes to boost competitiveness, productivity and the financial performance of industry participants.
Outcome 1: Timely and reasonably priced airport infrastructure
Outcome 2: Competitive supply of jet fuel
Outcome 3: Safe and efficient air navigation
Outcome 4: Environmentally sustainable growth
This policy paper describes the challenges faced by Australia’s international aviation industry in seizing the opportunity to double its size and contribution to the Australian economy over the next 20 years. The core challenge is to expand the capacity of airport infrastructure while improving the industry’s productivity and service quality outcomes.
The 2018-19 Industry Snapshot provides an overview of international passenger numbers, average airfares, on time performance and baggage outcomes.
BARA responds to Sydney Airport’s submission (dated 17 May 2019) in regard to commercial accountability and performance data and contract clauses to silence airline complaints.
BARA’s submission highlights how the airport operators’ claims and the Commission’s draft conclusions are not grounded in the practical commercial content of the airport services agreements. Baggage outcomes for 2018 are used to show the lack of airport operator accountability.
BARA focussed on the need for the Productivity Commission to take the genuine and legitimate concerns of international airlines over problems in airport services seriously.
BARA’s response to the Draft Report on the economic regulation of airports dispels the misconception that international airlines are biased, regulatory gamers.
Download BARA’s submission here.
BARA’s submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the economic regulation of airports addresses some highly inaccurate statements by Sydney Airport about BARA’s position on some commercial outcomes reached with them.
BARA’s submission to the Productivity Commission calls for firmer economic regulation that would focus airport operators on improving core services and be reasonable in price setting to the benefit of passengers, airlines and Australia’s tourism industry.
Download the submission HERE
BARA’s submission to the Productivity Commission calls for greater competition between jet fuel suppliers, which will bring innovation and greater efficiency in supply, delivering lower-priced and more reliable jet fuel.
Download the submission HERE
The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) has provided its view on the outcomes and issues with the light-handed economic regulation of Australia’s major international airports.
DOWNLOAD BARA’s address
BARA’s latest policy paper articulates the ways in which the air navigation system can underpin improved industry performance through increased efficiency and predictability in safe aircraft operations.
BARA is a member driven industry body that delivers value through setting the expectations and outcomes for Australia’s aviation infrastructure services.