Sunshine Coast Airport has spread its wings to fly to the nation’s capital for the first time ever, officially launching its inaugural Alliance Airlines service to Canberra today.
The new service starts at two times a week, provides a key connection between the Sunshine Coast and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), and was made possible through the Queensland Government’s $15 million Aviation Recovery Fund.
Sunshine Coast Airport Chief Executive Officer Andrew Brodie said the new destination would deliver up to 1600 seats a month and generate more than $3 million for local businesses annually.
“This exciting new route will be key to opening a whole new visitor market for our region, with Canberrans expected to flock north to enjoy our beautiful beaches, stunning hinterland setting and vibrant food scene,” Mr Brodie said.
“Not only that, it positions the Sunshine Coast, one of Australia’s largest regional economies, for continued economic growth and diversification as we recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
“For the first time in our history, we now have a direct link to our national capital which will support key industries including government, agriculture and education, as well as allowing Coast locals to explore all the cultural gems of Canberra direct from our doorstep.”
Alliance Airlines Chief Executive Officer Lee Schofield said the airline was proud to help provide another important link in its domestic network.
“This new service will increase tourism on the Sunshine Coast as well as boosting business and Government links between these important and growing regions,” Mr Schofield said.
“I was delighted to be able to join today’s first ever commercial flight between the Sunshine Coast and Canberra and look forward to welcoming many residents of Canberra and the surrounding region onto our new services, as well as residents of the Sunshine Coast heading to the nation’s capital”.
Visit Sunshine Coast Interim Chief Executive Office Craig Davidson and Tourism Noosa Chief Executive Officer Melanie Anderson said the service would provide a much-welcome win for domestic tourism to the Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions.
“The Sunshine Coast has long been a popular destination for the ACT and because of our reputation for beach culture and nature-based holidays, we anticipate there will be strong demand for the new service,” Mr Davidson said.
“For the first time ever, this opens up a direct route between the Capital and the Coast and working together with Alliance Airlines, Sunshine Coast Airport and Tourism Noosa; we can collectively grow this market substantially.
“In the longer-term, having a direct flight from Canberra will also help rebound the conference and business markets, as the Sunshine Coast expands its commercial, agricultural, IT and services sectors.”
“This is fantastic news for our region and will provide a much-needed boost to our economy. Noosa has long been a popular destination for Canberrans and we look forward to welcoming more visitors to Noosa,” Ms Anderson said.
To celebrate the first flight, sale fares of $149 one way between Canberra and the Sunshine Coast have been released for travel in early 2021. Sale fares are limited and are available to book until Monday 26 October (unless sold out prior). Regular fares start at $169 one-way.