Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie said the record number of flights into the Sunshine Coast demonstrates a continued confidence in the region.
“Today is our busiest day ever with the Airport welcoming 20 flights,” Mr Brodie said.
“We have worked hard to bring back airlines and introduce new routes and additional services that provide passengers with greater flexibility and choice in where and when they want to travel.
“While there is no doubt that COVID has impacted many across the region, the continued growth of flights and passengers visiting our region shows there is still a desire by many to visit our beautiful region.
“The lifting of lockdown coupled with the 50 percent discount on flights, which also starts today, will certainly have a positive impact.
“Our hard work is paying off with the number of seats and flights this April and across the Easter period higher than they were pre-Covid in April 2019 - a bounce back better than most airports across Australia,” Mr Brodie said.
“We are expecting to see 23 percent increase in the number of flights into the Sunshine Coast compared to 2019 across the Easter weekend and when you think about where we were 12 months ago with our terminal literally closing its doors – that’s a great achievement.
“This is a major boost to our region and local tourism operators who have been so impacted by COVID-19 as more flights means more visitors to our region and April 2021 will see 80,600 seats – more than an 11 percent increase on April 2019 (pre-COVID).
“The outlook is testament to Australians’ appetite to travel and their desire to explore the Sunshine Coast’s beautiful beaches, lush tropical hinterland and delicious local produce at our markets, restaurants and cafes.
“We encourage all Australians to take a trip to experience all that Queensland and the Sunshine Coast has to offer.”
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Matt Stoeckel, said that tourism operators were relieved that the Brisbane lockdown had been lifted from midday.
“Whilst many accommodation operators reported cancellations because of the uncertainty, fortunately, the majority of travellers from Brisbane and interstate maintained their bookings and can now visit the Sunshine Coast as planned,” said Mr Stoeckel.
“The announcement is not the only good news today, with half-prices airfares going on sale to the Sunshine Coast through the Federal Government’s airfares scheme.
“Direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, and Adelaide are eligible for the 50% discount, which will give the Sunshine Coast tourism sector a welcome boost over the winter season.”