Sunshine Coast Airport has today welcomed Qantas back for the first time since March as the carrier launched its inaugural service to Australia’s capital.
From today, the airline’s regional carrier, QantasLink, will fly three times a week between the Sunshine Coast and Canberra, with the route set to provide more than 2,600 seats a month.
Sunshine Coast Airport Chief Executive Officer Andrew Brodie said the start of the new Canberra service was a sure sign of recovery for the aviation industry.
“A lot has changed since Qantas last touched down at our airport eight months ago with our new runway now open for business, and we’re hopeful this momentum with continue for our airport, our industry and our region,” Mr Brodie said.
“This service alone is expected to contribute more than $4.5 million to the Sunshine Coast tourism economy and deliver high value visitors to our region.
“It positions the Sunshine Coast, one of Australia’s fastest growing regional economies, for continued growth and diversity by serving the travel needs of key industries such as health, agriculture, education and government.
“It also gives Sunshine Coast locals the chance to explore all the cultural gems Canberra has to offer straight from their doorstep.”
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the national carrier was thrilled to be returning to the Sunshine Coast for the first time since March.
“With international borders still closed, we know there is significant pent up demand with Australians wanting to take a holiday in their own backyard,” Mr Gissing said.
“We expect these new flights will be popular with Canberra travellers looking to visit the pristine beaches and natural wonders of the Sunshine Coast.
“The flights are also another step towards our recovery, drive much-needed tourism and get more people back to work.”
Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson and Visit Sunshine Coast Industry & Membership Development Manager Andrew Fairbairn said the additional services from Canberra would provide a welcome boost for local tourism operators.
“The new route from Canberra is exciting and will no doubt have huge appeal for our Southern friends wanting to visit our region,” Ms Anderson said.
“In the past month VSC, together with Tourism Noosa and Sunshine Coast Airport as part of our Aviation Partnership, has rolled out a targeted marketing campaign in Canberra to inspire visitation and drive bookings to the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Fairbairn said.
“The campaign has been extremely well received, and we see interstate markets such as Canberra playing a critical role in helping our region move further down the path to recovery.”