SECOND AIRLINE NOW A REALITY

Community patience has been rewarded when the “dream” of a second carrier operating out of the Bundaberg Airport became a reality today.

Virgin Australia announced that it will start flights between Brisbane and Bundaberg on Saturday, May 4.

Virgin Australia’s ATR-72 Turboprop aircraft will operate a daily return flight which has been timed to allow for convenient transfers to connecting flights out of Brisbane. It has had an excellent service so far.

Flights will depart Brisbane at 12.40pm arriving into Bundaberg at 1.40pm and depart Bundaberg at 2.10pm, arriving in Brisbane at 3.10pm.  Virgin group executive of alliances, network and yield Merren McArthur said Bundaberg had been a monopoly market for more than a decade and that people in the region wanted competition.

“The midday flight is convenient for holiday makers and business travellers alike, as there are 11 domestic and international connections within three hours of the flight landing in Brisbane,” she said.

Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor, Cr. Mal Forman said the announcement was a welcome “shot in the arm” for the Region which was recovering after two natural disasters.

“It has been a fairly long road from Council’s vision developed four years ago to arrive at this point of the journey,” he said. “The announcement vindicates the plans, the expenditure and the ongoing negotiations Council has undertaken to secure this commitment from Virgin.”

Council’s Economic Development & Airport Operations portfolio spokesperson, Cr. Greg Barnes said the community as a whole would reap immense benefit from the announcement.

“Competition in the airline marketplace will have a dynamic impact on our diverse business and tourism sectors and provide huge opportunities for further growth,” he said. “While travel to Brisbane does not complete the whole air travel needs of our Region, it certainly is a great start.”

“The fact that Virgin has carefully selected their travel times in and out of the region to intersect with national and international flights into Brisbane augers well for a tremendous boost to local tourism,” he said. 

“The tough decision by the former council to commit to the upgrade of the runway, terminal and car park has paid dividends” he said.

Date: 26-02-2013

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