Up to 1048 extra international travellers a week will be able to fly into Queensland via the Middle East thanks to a boost by Etihad Airways announced. Tourism Queensland Acting CEO Leanne Coddington welcomed the news and said the daily services would begin in February 2013 making way for up to 95,000 international travellers to access Queensland on the route each year.
“This is fantastic news effectively doubling the route’s current capacity, adding 1048 available seats into the state each week,” Ms Coddington said.
“The additional air capacity represents a huge boost for the state, strengthening links with the Middle East and Singapore, both important gateways for travellers from Europe and Asia.
“Etihad operates an expansive network, and with ports in around 50 countries around the world, the additional flights open Queensland’s doors to a new generation of visitors.
“Etihad’s partnership with Virgin Australia will also allow a more seamless transit for international passengers to access multiple destinations throughout the state.”
Ms Coddington said the announcement coincided with the arrival of many Middle Eastern travellers currently visiting during the holy month of Ramadan.
“While the Middle East is not Queensland’s largest international market, it is a priority for the state’s tourism industry because of its significant potential as visitors tend to stay longer and spend more than other travellers,” she said.
“Etihad commenced flying to Queensland in October 2007 and Tourism Queensland has had representation in the region since 2009.
“Etihad’s decision to increase its services to Brisbane follows a series of negotiations with Tourism Queensland and Brisbane Airport Corporation to develop the route over the past few years and demonstrates the airline’s confidence in Queensland’s tourism industry.
“Tourism is one of the four pillars of the Queensland economy and the Queensland Government is committed to doubling overnight visitor expenditure to $30 billion by 2020.”