AIRLINE SERVICES CONTINUE

Recent media reports that Virgin is scaling back on its expansion into regional Australia has sparked some concerns that the Bundaberg-Brisbane flights might be at risk.

As reported in the News-Mail this week, a Virgin Australia spokeswoman has confirmed that the announcement would not have any negative impact on Bundaberg:

“Virgin Australia fly 68-seat ATR Turboprop aircraft into Bundaberg and have 12 of these aircraft currently in the fleet,” she said.

“We continually review our network including the Bundaberg to Brisbane route and may add services as demand dictates.

“This review is unaffected by the deferral of ATR deliveries as any of the 12 ATR aircraft of our existing fleet are able to fly into Bundaberg.”

Having secured Virgin as the region’s second airline early last year, Council’s Economic Development Unit (EDU) remains focused on doing what it can to see existing services expanded and new routes developed.

Realistically though, respective airlines make their decisions on a commercial basis and continually review their operations in what is a highly competitive market. Council’s input into the decision-making process is therefore limited except to continually lobby the airlines and to provide logistical support through its airport operations.

Whilst there is no doubt that residents certainly appreciate the choice of a second airline (passenger numbers for both QantasLink and Virgin indicate strong support for both carriers), I frequently receive inquiries from people hoping for:

  • additional Bundaberg – Brisbane flights
  • Bundaberg – Sydney flights
  • Bundaberg – Melbourne flights
  • Bundaberg – North (Mackay/Townsville/Cairns/etc) flights

As mentioned above, I’d like to assure residents that the EDU is highly mindful of these requests and that lobbying for expanded air services to and from our region remains as one of its highest priorities for both the convenience of local travellers and to fascilitate further economic growth.

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