Virgin Australia has announced three new services between the Gold Coast and Launceston, Hobart and Cairns – all starting in time for travellers to book their end of year holiday and catch ups with friends and family.
The Gold Coast-Launceston connection has been re-established after more than 20 years, delivering about 4,224 extra seats each month between the two cities.
Overall, these three services will deliver almost 19,000 extra seats each way, each week – which will provide a welcome boost for tourism operators in the destinations they connect.
Fares will be on sale from $79 one-way from today until midnight Friday 15 October and can be booked at virginaustralia.com.
Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said the new services would start during what was usually the peak tourism season and as travel nationally started to ramp up.
“When the Gold Coast-Launceston flights start in early December, it will be the first time a scheduled service has operated on this route in more than 20 years – creating another new market for the Gold Coast,” he said.
“Extra capacity on the already popular Gold Coast-Hobart and Gold Coast-Cairns routes is also extremely welcome.
“These services will deliver more options for visitors wanting to come to the Gold Coast and for locals looking to holiday in Tasmania and North Queensland.”
The routes are supported by the Queensland Government and Destination Gold Coast.
Virgin Australia Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Alistair Hartley said the airline recognised there was a growing demand and increasing confidence to travel.
“That’s why we’re excited to announce three new Gold Coast services today, taking off this December,” he said.
“The new direct services will allow for over 19,000 extra passengers each month to connect with loved ones and visit the destinations they’ve been dreaming about this summer.
“Virgin Australia is proud to be the first airline to connect Launceston and the Gold Coast in two decades. From December up to 4,224 passengers each month can now enjoy the Gold Coast’s spectacular beaches and theme parks and visit Launceston’s lavender estate and the wine region of Tamar Valley.
“Gold Coast is a big winner in today’s announcement, with the city expected to receive an injection of up to 9,856 extra passengers each month, providing an early Christmas present to the hundreds of tourism operators, hospitality venues and local businesses who rely on the economic boost tourism provides to their community.
“For Tasmania, never before has Virgin Australia operated to this many mainland ports from the Apple Isle. Since September, we have announced six new routes to Tasmania, providing a significant boost to local tourism and over 28,000 additional seats each month.”
Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said the increased connectivity into the Gold Coast was estimated to inject more than $43 million into the local economy – which was very welcomed after a challenging 18 months for the tourism industry.
“Well timed to kick-off in the lead up to Christmas, families and friends can take that trip they’ve been dreaming of and reconnect at our spacious beaches, lush subtropical rainforest, in our theme parks and at the hundreds of tours and attractions, dining and retailers we have dotted around the region,” she said
“Thank you to Virgin Australia for their vote of confidence in the Gold Coast and to our partners Gold Coast Airport, City of Gold Coast and Tourism and Events Queensland for their valued support.”