Australia’s Whistunday Coast Airport has secured a new airline partner, Alliance Airlines. The Australian carrier will be the first to resume flights to the Whitsundays post COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.
Alliance Airlines has agreed to commence return services from Brisbane four times a week from 22 June, using 100 and 80-seat Fokker jets.
The route is being subsidised – in partnership with the Whitsunday Regional council – to help local tourism restart. There is the option to ramp up to daily flights if demand permits.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said: “To attract a new airline partner as we start our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is a real boost for the tourism and business sectors in the Whitsundays.
“With the premier lifting restrictions on travel within Queensland it is important that our airport resumes services.”
Willcox added that with one in three jobs directly linked to tourism the Whitsundays is perfectly placed to lead domestic tourism recovery.
“Over the last decade the tourism stakeholders in the Whitsundays have had to be a resilient mob but with a focus on domestic tourism for the next 12-18 months there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Our airport was approaching 500,000 passengers annually prior to the pandemic so it is vital this key gateway to the Whitsundays is up and running as quickly as possible.”
Also commenting on the return of flights to the Whitsundays Tourism Minister Kate Jones said flights would generate more than $9.2 million – bringing nearly 5,300 tourists to the region over the next 12 months.
“We know that more tourists means more cash for local businesses,” Jones said.
“This will pump millions of dollars into the local economy and support local jobs,”
Whitsunday Coast Airport COO Aviation and Tourism, Craig Turner, concluded: “These flights present the opportunity for WCA to develop a partnership with Alliance Airlines through this challenging period and beyond.”