Palaszczuk Govt fast-tracks new flights for Gold Coast and Cairns

Published Tuesday, 01 September, 2020 at 01:28 PM

Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation
The Honourable Kate Jones

Gold Coast Airport’s flight schedule will today double when Jetstar’s Cairns to Gold Coast service recommences today thanks to the Palaszczuk Government.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said Jetstar’s Gold Coast to Cairns service would recommence today – having been fast-tracked through support from the Palaszczuk Government’s $15 million Aviation Recovery Fund.

The service has been suspended since March, as a result of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, but will resume today with increased capacity – almost doubling the capacity of the airport from 11 services per week to 19.

Ms Jones said the support through the government’s aviation recovery fund had allowed the Gold Coast Airport to fast track the recommencement of the service.

“Direct flights are crucial to our tourism industry and will be vital to rebuilding our economy,” Ms Jones said.

“Securing more direct domestic flights back to our tourism destinations is an important part of the government’s economic recovery strategy for our tourism industry.

“That’s why we worked so hard to bring forward the commencement of these flights – to support the local tourism industry to get back on its feet.

“We know our airports across Queensland are working closely with airlines at the moment to identify even more opportunities to support our state’s recovery and get tourists who are safe to travel back into these communities, spending money and supporting local jobs.

Assistant Tourism Minister and Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the service would pump around $7.1 million into the economy and support up to 55 local jobs.

“More flights mean more tourists spending money in our local businesses. That’s why we’ve delivered an Aviation Recovery Fund which is specifically targeted at fast-tracking the recommencement of domestic flights,” she said.

“The government’s priority remains tackling this health crisis. But because Gold Coasters have listened to the health advice of our experts, we’re also able to focus on our economic recovery.

“It will be a long road ahead. But we’ll continue to work closely with the airport to secure more flights for the Coast that will pump millions of dollars into local businesses and support local jobs.”

Gold Coast Airport COO Marion Charlton welcomed the return of the Gold Coast-Cairns service, with support from the Queensland Government, which would see the airport’s schedule almost double this week.

“The resumption of this popular service will take us from 11 to 19 services per week,” she said.

“That is still a long way off the 55 flights per day that we were facilitating pre-COVID-19, but it is a welcome step on the road to recovery.

“This service will reconnect the Gold Coast with tropical Far North Queensland – the state’s two powerhouse tourism destinations. It will grow from eight return flights this week to 11 return flights by the end of September, in time for the school holidays.

“With the recommencement of this service, we are confident more Queenslanders will embrace the opportunity to explore both destinations.”