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Whitsunday Coast Airport welcomes direct Melbourne flights

By Mark Beale

Whitsunday Coast Airport is pleased to welcome Jetstar return flights from Melbourne starting from June 25th this year.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Jenny Whitney said this is more exciting and positive news for the Whitsunday Coast Airport and the local tourism industry.

“Council has worked hard over the last few months to secure these direct flights to Melbourne and we are very pleased about today’s announcement from Jetstar offering three return flights a week on Monday, Thursday and Saturday,” she said.

“During Jetstar CEO David Hall’s visit to Airlie Beach in December last year he was impressed by the revitalisation of the town and heard about the need for the Melbourne services from local tourism operators.

“I know the local tourism industry will be very excited about today’s announcement from Jetstar which opens up the Melbourne market to Whitsunday tourism operators.

“I also know these direct flights are something locals have been crying out for and many members of the local community will love being able to fly directly to Melbourne from Whitsunday Coast Airport.

“I’d like to thank Jetstar for working with Council and the local tourism industry to make these flights a reality,” she said.

Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited (WMDL) Executive Director Jeff Aquilina said he was extremely excited about this huge win for the Whitsundays region.

“I would like to congratulate the Whitsunday Coast Airport and the Whitsunday Regional Council on this achievement and the great partnership with Jetstar,” Mr Aquilina said.

“It is a huge success with the new direct services providing a great economic boost for our region.

“The opening up of the route between Melbourne and the Whitsundays is of immense importance to the region and the announcement is warmly welcomed by our local tourism industry.

“We have seen a strong increase in air access to the Whitsundays in the last eighteen month which has been a great success for our region and we are very excited to welcome additional visitors to the Whitsundays.

“After a number of challenging years, the Whitsundays has re-emerged as a destination of choice for Australian holidaymakers and we are confident that the new flights will boost visitation for the Whitsundays region.”

Airlie Beach Hotel General Manager Mark Bell welcomed the announcement and said the new direct flights were a massive success for the region.

“Having direct access to the Melbourne market is absolutely vital and allows us to increase our share of the Australian domestic tourism market,” Mr Bell said.

“The new flights provide significant opportunities for further growth of our local tourism industry and particularly the continuous development of the Whitsunday Coast,” he said.

“It is fantastic news and will be of great benefit to the Whitsundays region,” he said.

Jetstar flights between Melbourne and the Whitsunday Coast Airport will operate on Monday, Thursday and Saturday and be serviced by 180-seat A320 aircraft in a single class, from June 25th 2015.

Qantas also announced today that they will add flights between Melbourne and Hamilton Island on a Saturday and Sunday from 27th June.

The move will see the Qantas Group deliver more than 15,000 extra seats a year to the Whitsunday Coast region.

Fares from Melbourne to Whitsunday Coast Airport will be on sale from 10am to midnight (AEDT) on 11 February for travel between 23 July – 14 September 2015 and 8 October – 10 December 2015. Introductory sale fares are $69 per person one way. For more information on flights please go to www.jetstar.com.au

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