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Back in the air

After three months, Sunshine Coast Airport is welcoming passengers back on established and new routes.

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Back in the air

After three months, Sunshine Coast Airport is welcoming passengers back on established and new routes. WORDS: Caitlin Zerafa.

Passengers will once again take off and land in the region with Sunshine Coast Airport set to recommence services after three long months of grounded flights.

From today, July 10, domestic services will operate daily, with a new flight to Cairns due to take off on July 17.

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie says regular passenger flights between the Sunshine Coast and Sydney have been confirmed. “We’ll host a daily flight to Sydney with Jetstar and up to five services a week with Virgin Australia, and we anticipate that offering will grow as further border and travel restrictions are lifted,” Mr Brodie says.

“We’re also incredibly excited to launch our new three-times-a-week Cairns service from Friday, July 17 with Alliance Airlines, marking the first time ever we’ve flown north from the Sunshine Coast.”

Visit Sunshine Coast Interim CEO Craig Davidson says these direct flights will go a long way towards helping the Sunshine Coast tourism industry move forward in their post-COVID recovery efforts.

“The flights have the dual benefit of stimulating additional demand and boosting confidence for the region’s tourism operators after a really challenging three months,” Mr Davidson says.

“The return of the Sydney services will have immediate benefits, because New South Wales is the powerhouse interstate market for the Sunshine Coast, contributing 568,000 visitors in 2019, a growth rate of over 36 per cent on the previous year.”

Mr Davidson says the introduction of a flight to Cairns will bring a new market to the region. “Far North Queensland is a new market for us and it is important to grow the connection, because when international flights return, connecting Cairns to the Sunshine Coast could establish a very strong route for visitors who love nature and want to travel the
east coast.”

Mr Brodie says these flights “will be a welcome boost” for many industries impacted by COVID 19. “It’s a strong sign of recovery for our airport and will be a welcome boost for many industries and businesses – like car hire, private transfer companies, accommodation providers and tourism operators,” he says. “We urge locals to fly local and book a flight from the Sunshine Coast and encourage their southern visitors to do so too.”

Extra measures will be put in place throughout the airport’s terminal to ensure passengers travel COVIDSafe. “We’ll be taking extra precautions to protect against the spread of COVID-19, such as extra cleaning and introducing measures to limit contact surfaces and dwelling areas,” Mr Brodie says. “As part of this, we’ll also only be allowing travelling passengers through security screening and into our Departures terminal.”

 

Fast facts

  • Daily services to Sydney recommenced July 6
  • Direct flights to Cairns begin July 17
  • From July 17 the number of weekly flights will be eight
  • Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Alliance will operate flights
  • New South Wales visitors contributed to 568,000 in 2019
  • The Cairns service will help connect international travellers to the Sunshine Coast
  • Runway expansion project cost $334 million

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