Sunshine Coast Airport today welcomed a new Qantas service between Sunshine Coast and Melbourne which will operate daily.
The QantasLink service, to be operated by a two-class 110 seat Boeing 717, will deliver more than 6500 seats a month in and out of the region.
Sunshine Coast Airport Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Brodie, said that Qantas choosing to serve the popular Melbourne route is a testament to the demand for travel to the Sunshine Coast.
“We warmly welcome the Flying Kangaroo livery serving the Sunshine Coast from Melbourne for the first time in more than three years,” Mr Brodie said.
“This service will provide another direct flight for sun-seeking Victorians looking to explore our beautiful beaches, magnificent hinterland and relaxed coastal towns over the summer months,” Mr Brodie said.
“And of course it offers Sunshine Coast locals the chance to reconnect with family and friends, enjoy the vibrant city of Melbourne or explore the historical towns and beautiful scenery of regional Victoria.”
Mr Brodie said the introduction of the Qantas service offered passengers more choice and highlighted the increasing diversity of our market, with a rapidly growing business sector.
“We’ve been proud to work with Qantas, the Queensland Government through its $15 million Aviation Recovery Fund and our tourism partners to add this important service to our schedule.” he said.
“Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s largest regional economies, and this service positions the region for continued economic growth by serving the travel needs of our business community.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the resumption of services from Melbourne to Sunshine Coast was great news for visitors and the local economy.
“We’re very happy to be doing our bit to help get tourism and local businesses in the region back on track. We know there’s huge demand for Victorians to head north and we’re delighted to have these services operating just in time for the summer holidays,” Mr Gissing said.
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Flying Kangaroo service was a boost for Sunshine Coast tourism.
“Direct air services are tremendously important to tourism operators on the Sunshine Coast as the industry rebuilds after COVID-19,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“We know Victorians love a holiday in the Queensland sun. And, the return of this QantasLink lands Melbourne holidaymakers in one of Australia’s favourite destinations with a minimum of fuss.
“This direct link from Tullamarine is made possible by the Palaszczuk Government’s $15 million Aviation Recovery Fund and delivers jobs for the Sunshine Coast’s economic recovery.
“It’s an investment that supports 21 local jobs and more than $2.6 million in overnight visitor spending straight into the pockets of Sunshine Coast businesses.”
Visit Sunshine Coast Industry & Membership Development Manager Andrew Fairbairn welcomed the return of the Melbourne to Sunshine Coast Qantas service.
“What a fantastic opportunity for our local tourism sector, delivering high value visitors to our region just in time for the summer holiday period,” Mr Fairbairn said.
“The Sunshine Coast has traditionally been a popular destination welcoming 415,000 Victorians to the region to the year ending March 2020.
“COVID-19 has been tough on the region’s tourism industry and the addition of this service from our key market will be crucial to our recovery,” added Mr Fairbairn.
Tourism Noosa Chief Executive, Melanie Anderson, said it was fantastic to welcome the return of the direct service with Qantas from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast
“Victoria is Noosa’s largest domestic market and is very important to our tourism industry and the destination’s economy. The news couldn’t have come at a better time to connect family and friends for Christmas and the holiday period’,” Ms Anderson said.
“Melbourne and Noosa have had a long standing synergy, so I have no doubt this has been positive news for many, and we look forward to welcoming Qantas and our visitors back.”