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Sunshine Coast boosted by debut of direct Cairns flights

July 20, 2020 Visit Queensland No Comments Email Email

Sunshine Coast Airport has spread its wings to the north for the first time ever, officially welcoming its inaugural Alliance Airlines service from Cairns today.

The new three-per-week service provides a key connection between two of Queensland’s high value tourist locations in line with the current push for domestic travel.

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie said the connection would have long-term benefits for the region.

“It’s anticipated this service will facilitate around 40,000 passengers every year and inject $2.8 million of tourism spend into our region, undoubtedly providing welcome relief for local operators,” said Mr Brodie.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said today’s announcement was a direct result of $15 million in funding from the Palaszczuk Government to secure direct flights to Queensland destinations and support the economic recovery of the tourism industry.

“Tourism is crucial to rebuilding our economy and supporting local jobs,” said Ms Jones. “That’s why we’re backing new flights direct to the Sunshine Coast – to pump cash back into local businesses.

“This brand-new service between the Sunshine Coast and Cairns will feature 300 seats each way per week, will generate more than $2 million for local businesses and support up to 20 jobs.

“Already we’ve seen huge demand for this service which is a great sign for our tourism sector.

“Since flights went on sale on June 18, Alliance has sold more than 2800 tickets to date. This is a shot in the arm for both regions and will support thousands of local tourism businesses.”

Alliance first flight from Cairns to Sunshine Coast – L-R Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie and Alliance Airlines Chair and Co-Founder Steve Padgett

Visit Sunshine Coast Interim Chief Executive Office Craig Davidson and Tourism Noosa Chief Executive Officer Melanie Anderson said the service would provide a well-timed boost for domestic tourism to the Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions.

“The new flights are important for the tourism industry’s path to recovery and will provide an opportunity for more Queenslanders to visit the Sunshine Coast region,” Mr Davidson said.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our northern friends and we also encourage our own locals to support Queensland tourism and discover the Cairns and Port Douglas region,” Ms Anderson said.

Alliance Airlines fares start at $125 one-way including taxes. All fares are inclusive of 20kg free checked baggage. To book, visit

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