Connecting India and Brisbane
Brisbane is eager to welcome more Indians to visit and experience Queensland in the next decade, says Andrew Brodie, General Manager—Airline & Retail Management, Brisbane Airport Corporation.
Q When can we expect direct flights from India to Brisbane?
We are in talks with Indian carriers for a long time and we hope to make some announcement in the course of the next 12-24 months. In the meantime, we are focused on working with Tourism Events Queensland and Tourism Australia in India to bring capacity via the big hubs like Singapore or Kuala Lumpur or even Dubai from where we get capacity directly into Brisbane.
Q What drives Indians to visit Brisbane?
Queensland is very powerful in terms of mining and earns market share of all trade between Australia and India. The other thing we are blessed is with education. We have about 13 per cent of all Indian students who are educated here in South East Queensland and we want to keep growing this. We are working closely with Brisbane Marketing, Tourism and Events Queensland to showcase the best of education facilities in this state. We have a safe and clean environment and we are working hard to showcase the best of educational facilities we have to offer. Another aspect is tourism and we cannot wait for more Indians to visit and experience these places. An added advantage is that Australians and Indians love cricket. With players like Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz supporting us, it is a great opportunity for us to attract more Indians because we know they are also truly passionate about the game.
Q Any new facilities at the airport? How do you think it would benefit Indian travellers?
We are building a second runway set to become operational in the next 24 months. We are spending 1.8 billion AUD on the parallel runway plus major infrastructure which will take us from 52 movements an hour to over 110 movements per hour. That is more movements per hour than any other port in Australasia, which would mean that the capacity would increase manifold. We do a lot of research – both qualitative and quantitative to understand the needs and wants of the Indian traveller. We know that food is very important and so from the restaurant perspective, we are currently planning to expand the international terminal to the North which will allow for more duty-free and retail products and restaurants.
Q What is the next big step regarding Brisbane Airport?
Brisbane Airport operates 24*7 so there is no curfew. Sydney airport is curfewed, the airport to our south is curfewed. Also, from a capacity point of view Sydney airport is becoming a terminal and runway constraint during peak hours. So we have the opportunity to bring more capacity directly from India via the big hubs directly into Brisbane, positioning us as a major gateway into Australia.
Q A lot of hotels have come up in the recent past in Brisbane. What does that indicate?
We have eight new hotels constructed with 15 more to come. The city has been witnessing major developments—the Queens Wharf Development is set to open in 2021 and will 50 new restaurants, new casino and new amphitheatre, and shopping facilities among other facilities. From there, we have the Howard Smith Wharves Development and other developments which will have major hotels and entertainment areas. With Pullman and ibis having opened last year, Brisbane Airport itself now has three major hotels.
We are certain that we can showcase the best produce of South East Queensland and offer superlative options of the same to our Indian visitors
Andrew Brodie General Manager—Airline & Retail Management, Brisbane Airport Corporation