Media Release – REGION’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY SET TO TAKE FLIGHT

More people are flying to the Bundaberg Region than ever according to the latest airport figures released today by Council.

Qantas Link and Virgin Australia carried 152, 127 passengers between Bundaberg and Brisbane airports last calendar year, setting a new record for the region.

Economic Development portfolio spokesperson Cr Greg Barnes said it was pleasing to see such positive results less than a year after Virgin Australia was approved to operate flights alongside Qantas to and from Bundaberg Regional Airport.

“It’s great news to see so many people visiting the region after what has been a tough year for Bundaberg,” Cr Barnes said.

“The 2013 figures show that there was also a 17.4% increase in passenger numbers compared to 2012 when there were 125,550 passengers flying in and out of Bundaberg Regional Airport.”

Cr Barnes said the upward trend in yearly passenger numbers was also reflected in the monthly figures with traveller numbers consistently above 13,000 over the past eight months.

“In November last year, we saw more than 13,200 people enter and leave the region via the airport which is another great result. Passenger numbers through Bundaberg Regional Airport rose 26 per cent in the 12 months to November 2012.”

“Passenger numbers increased more than two per cent to 13,490 travellers in December 2013, which is traditionally a slower month for air travel due to Christmas and New Year holidays. It was also a 26 per cent increase on December 2012.”

Cr Barnes said while the increase in passengers was partly due to the addition of increased services to and from the airport, demand was pushing up traveller numbers.

“These latest figure indicate that there is clearly large demand from local residents, businesses in Brisbane and interstate travellers for more air travel services to and from Bundaberg Regional Airport.

“They also show that Bundaberg is not only a key Queensland tourism hot spot that people from across Australia want to experience, but also a key business destination with unlimited opportunities and potential.”

“Council will continue to work with these airlines to provide more services over the next 12 months as well as talk to other airlines about the possibility of starting flights north, which residents are constantly asking me about.”

Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism General Manager Rick Matkowski said it was gratifying to see the excellent double digit growth in passenger numbers in and out of Bundaberg Airport.

“It clearly demonstrates that there has been a pent up demand from all sectors for more services and more competitive fares,” Mr Matkowski said.

“Bundaberg Airport is the envy of many other regional centres across Australia as we have a great balance of corporate, government, leisure and private travel which make our services more sustainable for the airlines.”

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