TAKE OFF: Whitsunday Coast lands more flights
VICTORIANS escaping the winter weather will soon be able to jump straight onto a plane headed for sunnier pastures as the region secures a direct Melbourne to Whitsunday flight.
Whitsunday Coast Airport announced today they struck a deal with Jetstar for direct flights, which are due to take off when the Queensland border opens.
Fares will start from $90 one-way and will fly three times a week.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said the service was yet another step in helping the region on its road to recovery.
"We have been like a dog with a bone in our talks with airlines to make sure we position our airport at the front of the queue to secure increased flights," he said.
"The good news is that we are not resting on our laurels and the chase is on to increase the Melbourne flights to daily and also chase a direct Whitsunday-Sydney route.
"The wonderful Whitsundays is one of Queensland's premier holiday destinations for travellers wanting some winter sun, so the timing is perfect.
"Last year the Whitsunday Coast Airport had nearly 500,000 passengers pass through our terminal so connectivity via the air is vital for our region.
"The increased connectivity to possible daily flights would boost our airport numbers in and out of the region by 4000 weekly and be a real game changer for the economic recovery of our businesses and tourism sector."
Tourism Minister Kate Jones welcomed today's announcement saying work would continue to secure more direct routes to the Whitsundays.
"The Whitsundays is one of the most beautiful places in the world to come and visit," she said.
"We know there are people right throughout the country who are itching for a great holiday. These flights will help to ensure that Queensland capitalises on this demand.
"Because Queenslanders have done such a great job fighting coronavirus, we're now able to focus on our economic recovery."
The Melbourne flights add to the intrastate flights secured earlier this month to and from Brisbane.
Alliance Airlines will commence return flights to Brisbane four times per week from June 22 and Jetstar flights will take off on June 27.