Mayor Andrew Willcox and premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Mayor Andrew Willcox and premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

PREMIER: ‘Get booking and come and see the beautiful region’

THE announcement that flights in the Whitsundays will recommence by the end of the month has been welcomed by the region’s leaders who say it’s the first major step in the road to recovery.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement from the Airlie Beach Foreshore this morning that Alliance Airlines has agreed to commence return flights to Brisbane four times per week from June 22.

It was estimated the flights would generate more than $9.2 million and bring in nearly 5300 tourists to the region over the next 12 months.

Mayor Andrew Willcox said the flights were a big win for the region and welcomed the premier to what he called “the best part of your great state”.

“To attract a new airline partner as we start our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is a real boost for the tourism and business sectors in the Whitsundays,” he said.

“With the Premier lifting restrictions on travel within Queensland it is important that our airport resume services.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Airlie Beach this morning to announce flights out of Whitsunday Coast airport would recommence. Picture: Laura Thomas
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Airlie Beach this morning to announce flights out of Whitsunday Coast airport would recommence. Picture: Laura Thomas

“Over the last decade the tourism stakeholders in the Whitsundays have had to be a resilient mob but with a focus on domestic tourism for the next 12-18 months there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

“Our airport was approaching 500,000 passengers annually prior to the pandemic so it is vital this key gateway to the Whitsundays is up and running as quickly as possible.”

Cr Willcox said the Whitsundays looked forward to “rolling out the red carpet” for visitors.

CEO of Tourism Whitsundays Tash Wheeler also echoed the welcome message and said securing flights came at the perfect time with the upcoming school holidays.

“Right now is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit the Whitsundays,” she said.

“I used to live in Brisbane and I know it’s still a beautiful part of the world but in the middle of winter it does have cold days, whereas right now in the Whitsundays as we go through the next few months we will continue to have sunny days like this where you can still enjoy snorkelling, diving, sailing, sitting around a pool, having that beautiful cocktail or mocktail or enjoying the beautiful seafood right across the region.

“Everybody in the state, whether you drive or fly or train, can now have a Whitsundays experience this winter.”

Ms Palaszczuk finished her press conference today with a push for Queensland holiday-makers to pack their bags for the “beautiful” Whitsundays.

“For all those people that talk about the Greek Islands, if you want to see natural beauty, if you want to see paradise, come to the Whitsundays,” she said.

“Get booking and come and see the beautiful region.”


Women accused of ignoring COVID order during lockdown

premium_icon Women accused of ignoring COVID order during lockdown

Two Bowen-based women fronted court after police allegedly caught them failing to...

Costo’s school pledge mirrors existing state project

premium_icon Costo’s school pledge mirrors existing state project

The MP’s $50M commitment to a new school in Cannon Valley is already in the works.

WATCH: Whitsunday swimmer to train under Olympic coach

premium_icon WATCH: Whitsunday swimmer to train under Olympic coach

Mikhaila Flint has landed the opportunity of a lifetime that could fast track her...