Sunshine Coast Airport recorded more than 250,000 passengers travelling through the airport in the first three months of the financial year – a 12% increase on the previous quarter and the highest September quarter traffic on record.
The Airport achieved an 11% year-on-year capacity increase and 84% average load.
Sunshine Coast Airport general manager Peter Pallot said. “We started with a stellar July, continued with a very strong August and topped the quarter off with an amazing September.
“A total of 89,610 passengers utilised the flight services at Sunshine Coast Airport in September, that’s a 14% increase year on year and the highest number of passengers per month since January 2009.”
Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd CEO Simon Ambrose said that a particularly chilly winter in Australia’s southern states and in New Zealand, combined with increased capacity, had provided the perfect ingredients for a record performance.
“Our Vacation Migration campaign came out at the beginning of the year to highlight the attractions of following the birds to warmer climes – and that’s precisely what happened,” said Mr Ambrose.
“We have worked hard with Sunshine Coast Council to build our events portfolio, and they have done a great job in attracting a wide range of high-profile events.
“We have also worked hard with our industry partners to increase visitation to the Sunshine Coast. Our pre-winter Flight Centre promotion resulted in a 55% increase in sales and 73% increase in passenger numbers compared to the same period last year, and with Qantas set to start direct services in December, the future is looking very sunny.”
Year on year, an additional 30,055 seats, or 1.4 daily return flights, were added at Sunshine Coast Airport during the September quarter.
Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand all posted double-digit passenger growth over the same period.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the results were evidence of the growing confidence in the region.
“The strong economic performance of the Sunshine Coast is now clearly visible and the growing popularity of our airport shows great faith and confidence in our region,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“This ongoing investment by airlines is terrific news and not only supports all the great work happening in our tourism sector but also provides greater convenience for our local residents.”