Sydneysiders are touching down for a whale-of-a-time in Hervey Bay onboard today’s first direct Jetstar flight.
Member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said it would be the first of three direct Jetstar flights each week for the region’s economic recovery plan.
“Sydneysiders looking for a whale-of-a-time are heading north to Hervey Bay to escape winter and experience our region’s breathtaking whale migration,” Mr Tantari said.
“Jetstar’s direct air link from Australia’s biggest capital to Australia’s whale watching capital will support 67 local jobs and contribute $8 million to Hervey Bay’s economic recovery.
“Direct flights from Sydney are great news for Hervey Bay’s whale watching boats, accommodation providers and local restaurants and cafes.
“It’s now possible to swap Sydney road congestion for the magic of Hervey Bay’s majestic whale highway in under two hours.
“There’s so much to explore on the Fraser Coast region – from the world’s largest sand island to the home of Mary Poppins at historic Maryborough – that our Sydney visitors won’t want to go home.”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said a welcome was planned on the tarmac for passengers arriving on the first direct flight.
“On board will be a team of travel writers eager to tell the rest of Australia about the world-class tourism experiences on the Fraser Coast,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Fraser Coast tourism operators to show the best of their region to holidaymakers across the country.
“Jetstar’s direct Sydney to Hervey Bay air route is made possible by the Palaszczuk Government’s Airline Recovery Fund and our close partnership with Fraser Coast Tourism and Events.”
Up to 10 travel writers and influencers will be onboard the flight for a 48-hour stay on the Fraser Coast.
Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans said it was great to offer low fares on the route again.
“Hervey Bay is the fifth new domestic route we’ve launched in the last year with customers and local tourism and hospitality operators benefiting from the great low fares that we bring to the region,” Mr Evans said.
“We’ve seen great demand for our direct service with people chasing the warmer weather and planning trips to see the whales as the migration season starts.
“We now have low fares services connecting 57 routes and 20 destinations across the country and we are really pleased to be able to help more people travel for less and boost local jobs and the economies of the communities we fly to.”
Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said the Fraser Coast had built itself to be one of the most popular holiday destinations in Queensland, and the new air services would provide a significant boost to the region’s tourism industry.
“There are not many places in Australia where you can step off a plane after a 90 minute flight from Sydney to a reef, wilderness or whales experience at your doorstep,” he said. “While the drive market to the Fraser Coast has been strong, we need connections in the sky as well and these new direct flights to and from Sydney will help our region as we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is a great benefit for Fraser Coast residents to have such a fast, direct and affordable connection to the cultural, sporting and business opportunities offered by Australia’s largest city.” Fraser Coast Tourism and Events General Manager Martin Simons said the direct Sydney flights opened up amazing tourism experiences, perfect for people seeking a getaway from dad-to-day big city life.
“The Fraser Coast region, home to World Heritage Listed K’gari-Fraser Island and nearby to Lady Elliot Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef, has kilometres of unspoilt beaches, walking tracks through rain forest, crystal clear freshwater lakes and amazing reef diving and marine adventures – all in a place where it is possible to spread out, relax and enjoy the solitude of nature,” Mr Simons said.
The Palaszczuk Government’s Aviation Recovery Fund has so far supported 25 services, estimated to generate more than $111 million in overnight visitor spending for regional Queensland economies and support 912 jobs.