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Melbourne travellers would be enticed to fly direct between Macau and Melbourne by a new cut-price airline that is in negotiations with the State Government and Melbourne Airport.
Viva Macau is a budget airline flying direct already into Sydney, with economy return fares retailing for around $600 and business seats selling for about $1500.
The airline recently took delivery of a new Boeing 767 aircraft, and has been in discussions with both the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport about whether Melbourne will become its second Australian destination.
The airline is also talking to other Australian cities about flying there instead of Melbourne.
Flying direct to Melbourne would allow Crown Casino to attract high rollers from its recently opened City of Dreams casino in Macau to Melbourne.
A Melbourne Airport spokeswoman, Claire Fitzgerald, said it had been "in discussions" with Viva Macau for some time. "We are exicted by the prospect Melbourne is being considered" as a direct-flight destination, Ms Fitzgerald said.
Jane Rowe, spokeswoman for industry minister Martin Pakula, did not confirm whether incentives had been offered to Viva Macau to fly direct to Melbourne.
"The Brumby Labor Government is in ongoing discussions with a range of airlines regarding increased air services to Victoria," Ms Rowe said when questioned about incentives being offered.
"Direct air services are critical to growing Victoria's export sectors, particularly tourism, international education and trade," Ms Rowe said.
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