Chief Minister Michael Gunner yesterday welcomed Virgin Australia’s inaugural flight between Brisbane and Alice Springs, increasing competition and connectivity between the two regions and bringing more tourists into Central Australia.
The new service is big win for the Territory Government’s $103 million Turbocharging Tourism stimulus package, where $10.85 million has been invested into cooperative marketing with airlines and other partners to drive visitation and support sustainable airline services.
“More tourists means more local jobs and more money into Territorians’ pockets - this new route will help deliver that,” Mr Gunner said.
“The flight brings with it important increased connectivity to and from Australia’s heartland.”
The Virgin Australia flight, operated by its partner Alliance Airlines, departed Brisbane at 10:15am and touched down in Alice Springs to a ceremonious water-cannon salute yesterday afternoon.
NT Airports CEO, Ian Kew joined the Chief Minister to welcome Virgin Australia General Manager of Network Management, Hope Antzoulatos, as well as trade partners, media, guests and passengers of Virgin Australia.
“Competition has now entered the Alice Springs - Brisbane route, offering competitive fares and creating choice for residents and businesses in both cities,” said Mr Kew.
“The new Virgin Australia service adds around 55% more seats to the route over the coming 12 months, and we’re confident we will see this grow in the future if we all embrace and use this new service offered by Virgin Australia.”
Virgin Australia General Manager Network Management, Hope Antzoulatos said Virgin Australia is thrilled to be launching services between Brisbane and Alice Springs today.
“These services will not only strengthen our domestic network offering and increase competition on this route, they will also provide better connectivity to international destinations,” Ms Antzoulatos said.
“We are always looking for opportunities to improve our network and these services between Brisbane and Alice Springs will provide flexible travel options. We look forward to welcoming guests on board and we are very proud to be operating in this important area of Central Australia.”
The Virgin Australia twice-weekly service will operate on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s on-board Alliance Airlines’ Fokker 100 and 70 jets.