Melburnians escape winter for the Whitsundays with Jetstar
The inaugural Jetstar flight from Melbourne to Whitsunday Coast (JQ 832) arrived this morning near full capacity ahead of the busy mid-year school holidays.
Jetstar is the only low fares airline flying this route direct and from today will operate three return flights a week to offer more than 50,000 seats a year between the destinations.
The flights are welcomed by the Whitsunday Regional Council as Jetstar estimates that its visitors will contribute around $36 million to local tourism annually, spending an average of six days in the region at a time.
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall said Melburnians have been keen to book holidays to the Whitsunday Coast region this season.
“We’re pleased to be the only airline offering a direct low fares link from Melbourne to the Whitsunday Coast Airport with the support of the Whitsunday Regional Council,” Mr Hall said.
“We’ve already seen strong bookings for flights over the winter school holiday period, and this demand continues towards the end of the year.
“Whitsunday Coast tourism operators have been eager for us to launch a direct route from Melbourne for some time so we’re excited the first plane has arrived this morning near full capacity.
“This is a real boon for local accommodation providers and tourism operators in beautiful North Queensland.
“The region has so much to offer our passengers, from exploring the Great Barrier Reef to bushwalking through Conway National Park and experiencing the nightlight of Airlie Beach, there’s something for everyone.”
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Jenny Whitney was at the airport to welcome the inaugural flight and said she is pleased council has continued its close partnership with Jetstar to secure the new direct route.
“The local tourism industry is very excited about the new Melbourne service which opens up the market for Whitsunday tourism operators; it paves the way for an exciting future and we look forward to welcoming new visitors to our region,” Mayor Whitney said.
“Our local community has highlighted the need for direct flights to other major cities in Australia and it’s pleasing that we can now offer them the option of a direct Jetstar flight to Melbourne from the Whitsunday Coast Airport.
“The increase in air-access to the Whitsunday region with Jetstar supports the future development and growth of the Whitsunday Coast Airport and provides great benefit to the region as a whole.
“I would like to thank Jetstar for their ongoing commitment to the Whitsunday region and making these flights a reality.”
Jetstar’s new three-times weekly service from Melbourne to Whitsunday Coast adds to its daily return service from Brisbane, with the airline now offering more than 90,000 seats into the region each year.
The new route was introduced as part of a dual brand revamp to Qantas and Jetstar’s flying in the Whitsunday Coast which added a total of more than 15,000 domestic seats a year to the region.
In addition to the new Jetstar flights from Melbourne to Whitsunday Coast Airport, Qantas will operate a twice weekly return service between Melbourne and Hamilton Island from 27 June 2015.
All Jetstar flights will be operated by 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft in a single class and will depart Whitsunday Coast Airport on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
NB. Tourism visitation and expenditure figures calculated based on Regional Tourism Profile for Whitsundays 2012/13, Tourism Research Australia, Australian Government, 2013.
The Jetstar Group is one of Asia Pacific’s fastest growing airline brands with one of the most extensive ranges of destinations in the region. It is made up of Jetstar Airways (subsidiary of the Qantas Group) in Australia and New Zealand, Jetstar Asia in Singapore, Jetstar Pacific in Vietnam, and Jetstar Japan in Japan. Jetstar branded carriers operate up to 5,000 flights a week to more than 85 destinations. The Jetstar Group carried more than 37 million passengers in financial year 2017.