Aviation

Qantas returns to Gold and Sunshine Coasts

AAP / Hannah Edensor

Qantas is resuming flights to Queensland’s Sunshine and Gold Coasts, routes it ditched a decade ago, due to what the airline says is greater demand from premium travellers.

Qantas will launch a daily service between Melbourne and the Gold Coast from October 25 and will start flying between Sydney and Maroochydore six times a week from December.

The airline stopped flying the routes in 2004 and handed them on to its Jetstar subsidiary.

But increased demand from higher end travellers has prompted Qantas to resume flights.

“Offering both airlines on these routes means we can appeal to leisure travellers with Jetstar while Qantas caters for more premium leisure and business customers,” Qantas Domestic chief executive officer Andrew David said.

TTF’s ceo Margy Osmond added that aviation is a key determinant in the success of a destination.

“Additional investment in new routes such as these is particularly important at a time when tourism is quickly moving to become Australia’s largest service export industry,” she said.

“Both the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast have long sustained their reputation as popular holiday destinations for domestic and international visitors alike, with both regions ranked in the top 10 destinations in Australia (by total visitor numbers and expenditure).

“They also serve as gateways to regional economies highly influenced by tourism. Connecting Australia’s major cities with popular Queensland regions will increase options for domestic travellers looking to travel more in their own backyard.”

Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd ceo, Simon Ambrose, said that the reintroduction of Qantas services was great news for the Sunshine Coast.

“The Qantas services will add a new dimension to Sunshine Coast’s tourism sector,” he added.

“Jetstar and Virgin have been great ambassadors for the Sunshine Coast in the domestic market and have consistently increased services from Sydney and Melbourne, and now Qantas will contribute significantly to growing business travel and conferences.

“Qantas’ international reach is very important, and by adding the Sunshine Coast to its network will allow us to market more strongly in Asia, Europe and America.

“Last year, we grew the international market by a record 15.7%, and with the new Qantas services as well as growth in Air New Zealand direct services, we believe we can grow the inbound market even further.”

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