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DOT APPROVES NORTHWEST COMPLAINT AGAINST AUSTRALIA

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena today approved a complaint filed by Northwest Airlines against the government of Australia for restricting the number of passengers that can be carried on the airline's flights between Osaka, Japan, and Sydney, Australia.
 "Northwest has an absolute right to continue its flights without the restrictions imposed by Australia," Pena said. "However, if we cannot settle this matter through negotiations, we will not hesitate to move forward with additional actions. We hope that next week's discussions with Australia will resolve this dispute."
 The department said Australia's actions violate the U.S.- Australia bilateral aviation agreement. Under the agreement, Northwest is allowed to operate flights over the North Pacific from the United States to Australia via intermediate countries without limits on the amount of traffic the airline may carry between Australia and those countries.
 Any decision on sanctions will be deferred until after a meeting on the dispute between representatives of the U.S. and Australian governments to be held Feb. 8-9 in Canberra, Australia, the department said.
 Northwest filed its complaint with DOT on Jan. 22, arguing that Australia was restricting its current New York-Osaka-Sydney services in violation of the bilateral agreement. The complaint charges Australia with limiting the number of local passengers Northwest can carry on its three flights between Osaka and Sydney. Australia imposed a limit of 50 percent on local traffic that can be carried on two of these flights. Australia also notified the carrier that beginning Feb. 1, one of its three flights could carry no Osaka- Sydney passengers at all.
 -0- 2/5/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Mosley of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 202-366-5571/


CO: U.S. Department of Transportation; Northwest Airlines ST: District of Columbia IN: AIR SU: EXE

TW -- DC021 -- 3573 02/05/93 13:41 EST
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Date:Feb 5, 1993
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