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AUSTRALIA MOVES TO CANCEL NORTHWEST AIRLINES SERVICES

 WASHINGTON, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Embassy of Australia issued the following:
 Australia has moved to cancel the timetable for Northwest Airlines services on the route New York-Osaka-Sydney. The cancellation would have effect from June 30 to ensure the decision does not unduly affect the traveling public or tourism, the Minister for Transport and Communications, Senator Bob Collins, said today in Canberra, Australia.
 The department had invited Northwest to re-apply for the operation of two services per week on the route which would be approved promptly subject to the 50 percent condition applying currently to Northwest's services, he added. This will enable Northwest to continue to operate on the route, Collins said.
 The minister said the decision followed Northwest's sustained violation of a legal order from the Department of Transport and Communications in December last year. "Australia has not taken these steps lightly," Collins said. "It has been mindful of the U.S. administration's retaliatory threats to cancel three Qantas services. These U.S. proposals are unfair and disproportionate.
 "The Australian government has at all times sought a negotiated settlement to this dispute. Even now, despite Northwest's previous breaches of conditions, we have invited the airline to re-apply for the operation of two services per week on the New York-Osaka-Sydney route."
 Collins said the department had given Northwest a full year, under favorable arrangements, to prove its claim that it could grow a market between New York and Australia without unduly affecting the primary right of Australian and Japanese carriers to serve the Japan/Australia route.
 The department asked Northwest to commit to this undertaking in writing which was a generous interpretation of the requirement under the Air Transport Agreement between the Australian and U.S. governments.
 "Northwest agreed in writing to do this in 1991 before it commenced operations," Collins said.
 Northwest did not meet its obligations throughout the first year of its operations.
 "The 50 percent uplift and discharge rule was not an exceptional condition to place on Northwest, nor was it exceptional to require Northwest to meet this obligation during one year of operations," Collins said.
 "The United States has benefited immensely over recent years from the aviation bilateral treaty with Australia. Three new U.S. airlines have entered the market in this period. U.S. carriers have dominated the number of services on offer and they carry more passengers than Qantas.
 "It is legitimate for Australia to pursue its rights and to protect its national interests. It is doing no more than the U.S. would do in similar circumstances."
 -0- 6/1/93
 /CONTACT: Christopher Sweeney, counsellor (public affairs), Embassy of Australia, 202-797-3165/ CO: Embassy of Australia; Northwest Airlines ST: District of Columbia IN: AIR SU:


KD-DC -- DC021 -- 4029 06/01/93 14:22 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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