Jetstar flights between Adelaide and the Sunshine Coast are back in our skies from today.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the service had been suspended since March as a result of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 but would resume from today with two services per week in the first month, before a third service is added from October.
Ms Jones said the Government’s $15 million aviation recovery fund had allowed Sunshine Coast Airport to fast track the recommencement of service.
“Direct flights are crucial to our tourism industry and will be vital to rebuilding our economy,” Ms Jones said.
“Securing more direct domestic flights back to our tourism destinations is an important part of the government’s economic recovery strategy for our tourism industry.
“That’s why we worked closely with Jetstar to bring back these flights direct from Adelaide.”
Ms Jones said the service would deliver 360 inbound seats a week next month, and 540 a week after that, and would pump an extra $4.7 million annually into the local economy, while supporting up to 38 local jobs.
“These flights are coming back on line at a crucial time for the tourism industry as we head into South Australian school holidays,” Ms Jones said.
“It’s been a long, cold winter for thousands of South Australians. What better place to escape than the Sunshine Coast?
“It also comes ahead of the launch of our ‘Good To Go’ big book of Queensland travel ideas in South Australia, with 140,000 copies of our 48-page travel companion being distributed via the Adelaide Advertiser this weekend.
“We’ve put the funding on the table to support our airports across Queensland to negotiate with airlines to secure flights that will help to rebuild our tourism industry.”
Sunshine Coast Airport Chief Executive, Andrew Brodie said the recommencement of the Adelaide service was thanks to strong partnership with Jetstar, the Queensland Government and local tourism bodies, Visit Sunshine Coast and Tourism Noosa.
“With pent up travel demand remaining high, we expect Jetstar’s Adelaide service will be very popular with people seeking new horizons,” Mr Brodie said.
“We know that South Australians are craving warmer weather following a long winter, so the early recommencement of the service is fantastic news for the local tourism industry.”
The service will also be supported by marketing activity from Visit Sunshine Coast and Tourism Noosa, enticing South Australians to experience a Queensland winter.
Visit Sunshine Coast Interim Chief Executive Office, Craig Davidson and Tourism Noosa Chief Executive Officer, Melanie Anderson welcomed the return of the route.
“Reopening the region back up to the Adelaide market is extremely timely and will provide further support for the Sunshine Coast’s tourism industry, keeping us moving forward on the path to recovery,” Mr Davidson said.
“We were seeing some good traction with South Australian visitors to the region and look forward to welcoming them back,” Ms Anderson said.
Meanwhile, Gold Coast Airport’s flight schedule will double today, with Jetstar’s Cairns to Gold Coast service also recommencing.
Gold Coast Airport COO, Marion Charlton welcomed the return of the Gold Coast-Cairns service.
“The resumption of this popular service will take us from 11 to 19 services per week,” she said.
“That is still a long way off the 55 flights per day that we were facilitating pre-COVID-19, but it is a welcome step on the road to recovery.
“This service will reconnect the Gold Coast with tropical Far North Queensland – the state’s two powerhouse tourism destinations. It will grow from eight return flights this week to 11 return flights by the end of September, in time for the school holidays.
“With the recommencement of this service, we are confident more Queenslanders will embrace the opportunity to explore both destinations.”