Qantas resumed direct flights between Sydney and the Gold Coast today, in a major show of confidence in Queensland’s tourism industry. Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey was at the Gold Coast Airport to welcome the first passengers and officials on flight QF860 from Sydney.
“From today Qantas will operate three daily return services between Sydney and the Gold Coast, opening the skies for up to 3528 extra visitors a week,” Ms Stuckey said.
“Qantas and Queensland share a close relationship which is strengthened by today’s arrival.
“The reinstated services received overwhelming support after they were first announced with Qantas’ 48-hour $48 Sale resulting in 24,000 bookings.”
Ms Stuckey said the Gold Coast had been considered Australia’s holiday playground for generations and recent tourism figures showed that was still the case.
“An extra 82,000 people passed through the Gold Coast Airport last month which was a 19 per cent increase on the same period last year,” she said.
“The region also celebrated a bumper spring holiday period with Tourism Queensland’s “I Spy” promotion, run in partnership with Wotif.com helping to boost bookings through the shoulder season in the lead-up to Christmas.”
“The city is also one of Australia’s fastest growing business communities and Qantas’ return reflects the growth potential in this area.”
Ms Stuckey said the Newman Government is working hard to secure additional flights to make it easier to visit the Gold Coast and has established an $8 million Attracting Aviation Investment fund to encourage more airlines to fly directly into Queensland.
“Our goal is to grow overnight visitor expenditure in Queensland to $30 billion by 2020 and aviation access will be the key to achieving that goal.”
Together with QantasLink and Jetstar, Qantas services 23 destinations in Queensland, operates more than 1,000 flights a week and along with its partners, the Qantas Group connects the state to more than 200 destinations around the world.