Affordable, quarantine-free travel between the Gold Coast and Perth has taken off again – with Jetstar’s regular passenger service landing at Gold Coast Airport for the first time in more than eight months.
Regular flights between the Gold Coast and Perth stopped in late June last year when the Western Australian Government introduced a border closure with Queensland. Tickets for the Gold Coast-Perth service start at $165one way.
The restart of Gold Coast-Perth, which was celebrated with a water cannon salute and Quokka-themed cake, signals the restoration of Gold Coast Airport’s full domestic network.
Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said it was an important day in the recovery of the airport and the tourism industry it supported.
“This is the strongest position the airport has been in for two years, with the full domestic network operating and international services rebuilding,” he said.
“We expect there will be some emotional reunions throughout the week in both directions, as friends and families reunite after many months apart.
“This service also reconnects Australia’s premier holiday destination with Western Australia, which is high on the bucket lists of travellers.”
The re-establishment of the route opens up opportunities for people on the Gold Coast and in northern NSW to experience Western Australia, including the Margaret River wine region, Ningaloo Reef and cosmopolitan Perth.
Mr Mills said Western Australians were keen to travel again after the state was closed off from the rest of the country for an extended period.
“There are strong forward bookings on this service and the first in and outbound flights are nearly full,” he said.
Jetstar’s Perth-Gold Coast service will operate three times per week, departing from Perth on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and arriving on the Gold Coast early on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The frequency of the service is set to increase next month.
The service, which operates on an A320 aircraft, will deliver more than 58,000 seats annually through Gold Coast Airport in both directions.
Mr Mills said passenger numbers were continuing to improve at Gold Coast Airport, as domestic connectivity rebuilds and international services resumed.
“More than 300,000 passengers were welcomed and farewelled at Gold Coast Airport in February – or about 68 per cent of pre-COVID-19capacity,” he said.
“Airlines have indicated domestic capacity will continue to increase in the lead up to Easter, and with our full domestic network now reinstated, we expect Easter will be a peak period for Gold Coast Airport and our tourism operators.”
In addition to the airport’s terminal expansion, an Airside Processing Zone (APZ) was also progressed at GCA while passenger numbers were rebuilding. The purpose-built, airconditioned queueing space connects to the current and future terminal areas – and is on track to open next month.