I am pleased to announce an increase in flights between Brisbane and Norfolk Island to support growth in the local tourism industry by enabling more people to visit.
Regular passenger air services to Norfolk Island are underwritten by the Australian Government, and provided by Air New Zealand (Air NZ), to support the tourism sector and the local community.
Air NZ provides a year-round service of two flights per week between the Island and both Sydney and Brisbane. In the peak season from mid-September to end-April there is a third flight each week between Sydney and Norfolk Island.
The Australian Government has now approved an additional service from Brisbane between October and May, to align with periods of high demand on the route.
I would like to acknowledge the Norfolk Island Regional Council and Unique Tourism Collection for putting forward the proposal for additional flights to increase tourism to Norfolk Island at the tourism stakeholder workshop in August 2019.
Some 30,000 people travelled to Norfolk Island as air passengers in 2018-19, with 73 per cent of them coming as tourists.
Based on aircraft availability, Air NZ advises implementation of the extra flight can commence from November 2020, with the full October-May peak period flights to be implemented in 2021.
A once-weekly flight from Melbourne, which was also proposed by Council, was investigated but found not to be currently viable due to projected passenger numbers and cost.
I encourage the Council, local tourism sector and broader community to continue their collaboration to expand Norfolk’s tourism industry so further flight routes can be considered in the future.
I, along with the Administrator, Mr Eric Hutchinson, am committed to supporting sustainable tourism and economic growth for Norfolk Island in partnership with the Council, business and broader community.
Building tourism is important for the local economy and we are dedicated to working with the Council and community with the aim of increasing tourism to a point where the air service will become a viable route.