US-Australia Flights and Their Economic Implications Essay

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Airlines and flights availability have very strong implications upon tourism. And tourism, on the other hand affects the economy. Simply stated, it is not very convenient to reach a certain destination without a speedy transportation medium. Imagine how can you reach Washington from Melbourne if there is no flight connecting these two countries? However, connecting two destinations is not an easy task to do. There are a lot of considerations to be done to make the route successful and advantageous to both the air line company and the passengers.

In the case of Australia, which has eleven per cent (11%) air space of the earths surface (Efficient Planning 2006, 41) flight region, it is quite easy to setup flights. Taking the flight to Washington from Melbourne, or Australia to the United States of America (USA) nowadays are more convenient. In fact recent talks between the officials of these two countries is to have open skies (US-Australia  2008) to promote competition and thereby encouraging tourism.

Currently, it is the Australian Qantas that takes the lead when flights between the two mentioned countries are concerned. At the moment Australian airline Qantas has by far the most non-stop services to the US, and reportedly generates up to 20% of its profits from the route, according to the BBC report. The weekly non-stop flights between these two countries carried out by Qantas consist of forty-eight (48) trips in all. Can you imagine the exchange of tourism earnings between the US a and Australia only be these flights by a single airline company?

Aside from Qantas, other airlines planning to compete in bringing in passengers to Australia from the USA and vice versa are Virgin Blues V Australia and Singapore Airlines. Currently however, there are fourteen (14) weekly flights aside from that of Qantas which is offered by the United Airlines. These flights, totaling to sixty-two are only for the non-stop classification. How about if those with connecting flights are added here? More exchange of tourists can be done if more flights would be counted.

Recently, the flights departing the USA going Australia has given  49,000 visitors from the United States of America only for the 28-day month of February 2008 bringing the total for the two months of 2008, January and  February, to 86,100, an increase of 7 per cent relative to the same period of the previous year. (February 2008 Highlights)

In fact there is a steady increase of arrivals from the USA to Australia as the year moves away from 2001, the time when security issues on air travels were so critical. The concerns on airline and airport security according to Beirman (2003, 53) became one of the most important challenges facing the world of tourism industry. Airlines and airport authorities worldwide had actively addressed this issue since air piracy first emerged as a terrorist tactic as far back as 1960s.

 Beirman (54) further noted that  the drop in both domestic and international airline patronage coupled with the reduction of scheduled air services was expected to flow through to patronage of hotels, resort and attractions. Indeed, as stated, the number of passengers is also reflective of the tourism industry because without a means of transportation, tourists cannot just reach where they want to go! And reciprocally, without passengers, flights/airline routes cannot simply survive. On the other hand, things causing people to travel include publicities such as in 1999 when  Qantas airline gained so much profit despite the economic challenges. It was attributed to exposure and publicity related to games would also result in a longer-term growth period (Qantas Flies High as, 3).

Furthermore, there were 44,900 visitors from the United States of America during December 2007 bringing the total for 2007 to 459,700, (December 2007 Highlights 2008) an increase of one (1%) per cent relative to 2006 while there were a total of 456,000 (December 2006 Highlights 2008) US American arrivals in 2006, a two (2%) per cent rise relative to 2005, while in 2005, 446,200 (December 2005, 2008)  American visitors arrived,  making an increase of three (3%) per cent relative to 2004 records.

            What are the economic implications of the above result? Pairing with recent data above, the period covering 2006 and 2007, the tourism industry in Australia contributes 3.7% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 3.4% to the countrys Gross value added amount. Moreover the industry employed 482, 800 individuals comprising 4.7% of the total Australian employment (Market Insights 2008). It surely is a very positive output caused by tourism and one of the contributing factors are the flights and inflows of tourists and visitors mentioned in the preceding discussions.

On the other hand, Australian visitor arrivals to the 2003 summed up to approximately 582,000 giving a 12% rise from the previous year (International Arrivals, 2005). The following year, a 4% increase followed to 603,000 arrivals (International Arrivals, 2006). In fact the two countries exhibit similar trends, increasing flights as the years move away from 2001 and the number of arrivals are almost reciprocally comparable.

In the US, more flights mean more commissions to or incentives to the travel and tourism industry and economy. According to Ioannides and Debbage (1998, 120), through travel agencies commissions, the airline industry can manipulate the type of advice given by the agents. This means more monetary circulation in the market and naturally, as previously mentioned, the ensuing effects to the hotel and accommodation industry, beaches and attractions business, museums, and any other tourist spots in the U.S. And not to be missed, the corresponding taxation paid by those earning entities.

In fact, as Hall, and Page (2002, 2) stated, tourism, as with other forms of economic activity, therefore reflects the increasing interconnectedness of the international economy. Indeed, by its very nature in terms of connections between generating areas, destinations and travel routes or paths, tourism is perhaps a phenomenon which depends more than most not only on transport, service and trading networks but also on social, political and environmental relationships between the consumers and producers of the tourist experience. Furthermore tourism can be viewed as a primary industry which, through visitor spending, increases job opportunities and tax revenues, and enhances the communitys overall economic base (Hall, and Page 2002, 5) Thus, these are what those flights and arrivals are all about: profits and taxes, money circulation and improved economy.

Works Cited

Beirman, David. 2003. Restoring Tourism Destinations in Crisis : A Strategic Marketing Approach /. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin. http December 2004 Highlights://

December 2005 Highlights, Latest Visitors Arrival data. Tourism Australia.

December 2006 Highlights, Latest Visitors Arrival data. Tourism Australia.

December 2007 Highlights, Latest Visitors Arrival data. Tourism Australia.

Efficient Planning of Long Distance Flights Path. 2006. Airline Fleet and Network Management, January. .

February 2008 Highlights, Latest Visitors Arrival Data. 2008. Tourism Australia. ttp://

International Arrivals to the United States for December, Fourth Quarter, and Annual 2005. ITA, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries.

International Arrivals to the United States for Fourth Quarter and Annual 2006. ITA, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries.

Ioannides, Dimitri and Keith G. Debbage, eds. 1998. The Economic Geography of the Tourist Industry: A Supply-Side Analysis. London: Routledge.

Hall, C. Michael, and Stephen J. Page. 2002. The Geography of Tourism and Recreation: Environment, Place, and Space. London: Routledge.

Market Insights, Tourism Facts. 2008. Torism Australia.

Qantas Flies High as Net Profits Rise. 1999. Business Asia, August 30, 3.

US-Australia flight talks begin could lead to cheaper flights across the Pacific. 2008. BBC News, February, 8.

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