Victoria’s state government has welcomed Jetstar’s inaugural flight from Avalon Airport to the Gold Coast, less than six months after securing the airport’s future for at least 10 years.
The state’s Minister for Industry, Lily D’Ambrosio, and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren, visited Avalon Airport yesterday to launch the first new daily flight, which will help boost tourism and jobs in the region.
The daily Avalon-Gold Coast service results from an agreement signed between the Victorian Government and Jetstar earlier this year that secures operations at Avalon Airport for the next 10 years, expands passenger services and saves up to 200 jobs.
One-third of all arrivals in to Avalon are tourists and the new daily flights are expected to carry an additional 65,000 passengers a year arriving at Avalon Airport from Gold Coast.
The new flights will increase the airport’s capacity by 65,000 seats per year, providing another option for inbound visitors from South East Queensland, particularly those looking to explore the Geelong region and the Great Ocean Road.
Queensland is an important tourism market for Victoria. Last financial year, Victoria welcomed more than 1.2 million overnight visitors from Queensland, with 262,000 coming from the Gold Coast Region.
“It’s great to see the first new Gold Coast flight take off from Avalon less than six months after the Andrews Labor Government secured an agreement to keep operations at Avalon Airport for the next ten years and save up to 200 jobs,” D’Ambrosio said.
“We are committed to supporting the local aviation industry and creating jobs for the greater Geelong region.”
Eren said the move by Jetstar was a vote of confidence in Victoria’s visitor economy and a big boost to the local community.
“Avalon Airport is on the cusp of some of our most cherished tourism regions, and boasts easy access to Melbourne. It’s a chance for visitors from Queensland and further afield to see for themselves we have the best of everything.”
Edited by William Sykes