17 December 2012

Tourism Australia continues making airline deals

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In the wake of Tourism Australia and national airline Qantas ending a four-decade long partnership amid a bitter dispute, the tourism agency has signed another new deal with Etihad.

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Etihad Airways joins Virgin Australia in signing marketing deals with Tourism Australia.

Tourism Australia and Qantas ended a 40-year partnership last month following a bitter dispute between the two organisations' chief executives. Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce claimed Tourism Australia Chief Executive Geoff Dixon was leading a consortium of investors aimed at buying the Australian flag carrier.

In response, Qantas suspended the AU$50 million (£32.5 million) marketing deal between the two and looked elsewhere for marketing partners.

Virgin Australia stepped quickly into the breach, signing a AU$12 million (£8 million) marketing deal with the national tourism agency last week.

And in order to continue to recuperate the amount lost in the Qantas deal, Tourism Australia have recently announced a three-year, AU$6 million (£4 million) marketing deal with Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates flag carrier.

"In just five years of flying to Australia, Etihad Airways has demonstrated a strong and growing commitment to its Australian operations," said Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy when announcing the agreement.

Mr McEvoy said the marketing agreement would mainly target visitors from the Middle East as well as the UK and Europe.

Etihad Airways Chief Executive James Hogan said Australia was a crucial market area for the airline, which would work in conjunction with Virgin Australia to market Australia as a great destination.

"Etihad Airways and Tourism Australia have already started planning a major campaign for the first half of 2013 - together with Virgin Australia - in order to leverage the synergies of the airlines' joint networks and cooperative marketing spends," said Mr Hogan.

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