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Jetstar boost to Whitsundays puts tourism record in reach

Business

Whitsunday Coast Airport will have an extra 434 flights annually from July 1 after striking a deal with budget airline Jetstar.

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It was expected that the increase will deliver an extra 80,000 visitors a year.

There will be an increase in flights to and from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Mayor Andrew Willcox said it would increase capacity by 27 per cent on the 2019 numbers, which had been the highest year on record.

“Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic we had our sights set on breaking the magic 500,000 passenger barrier and this new deal puts us in the box seat to achieve that in the 2021/22 financial year,’’ Willcox said.

“I am grateful for the support of our airline partners who have shown confidence in the ability of our region to be one of Australia’s peak domestic tourism destinations.

Whitsunday Coast Airport chief operating officer Craig Turner said the airport was one of the fastest growing in regional Australia.

“It is also a positive sign for our tourism operators and other related stakeholders that their resilience during recent challenging times is paying dividends,” Turner said.

“Tourism will continue to be one of the main economic drivers in The Whitsundays and these 434 extra flights from Jetstar will provide increased capacity to ensure we remain a tourism hotspot,” Turner said.

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