18 June 2020

Sunshine Coast Airport has joined forces with the Queensland Government and Alliance Airlines to launch a new service to Cairns, allowing Queenslanders in the far north and the south east to enjoy the best of both worlds direct from their doorstep.

Flying three return services per week from 17 July, the route will provide a key connection between two of the state’s high value tourist destinations in time for the push for domestic travel, encouraged through Tourism and Events Queensland’s ‘Good To Go’ campaign.

Sunshine Coast Airport Chief Executive Officer Andrew Brodie said the Cairns destination was highly requested by locals.

“Cairns and far north Queensland are highly desirable destinations for Sunshine Coast people, and for the first time ever, this service will provide direct access to world renowned natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest,” Mr Brodie said.

“Expected to service up to 40,000 passengers every year, it is also great news for our local tourist operators, due to deliver a much needed $2.8 million injection of tourism spend into the Sunshine Coast region.

“We also anticipate it will be popular among southerners who are starting to emerge out of isolation into a long winter, and now they’ll have the chance to experience two of Queensland’s premier destinations in the one trip, keeping them in the Sunshine State for longer.”

Alliance Airlines Chief Executive Officer Lee Schofield said the airline was delighted to partner with Sunshine Coast Airport and the Queensland Government to launch the new route.

“We know that residents, tourism operators and the broader businesses community in both regions have been calling for a link for many years and we’re proud to be able to bring this to fruition,” Mr Schofield said.

“As a 98 percent Australian and New Zealand owned airline headquartered in Brisbane and with operational bases in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton, Alliance is pleased to be playing our part to drive new visitation to these two Queensland regions that have been so significantly impacted by COVID-19.”

Visit Sunshine Coast Chair David Ryan and Tourism Noosa Chief Executive Officer Melanie Anderson said the flights were a welcome addition and would provide an opportunity for more Queenslanders to visit the broader Sunshine Coast and Noosa regions.

“We expect there will be considerable interest from the north Queensland market as the Sunshine Coast offers a distinctly different holiday experience from what they normally experience, and it will also help facilitate business travel and conferences in future,” Mr Ryan said.

“We look forward to welcoming our northern friends and we encourage our own locals to support Queensland tourism and discover the Cairns and Port Douglas region,” Ms Anderson said.

Alliance Airlines launch fares are on sale now and start at $125 one-way including taxes. All fares are inclusive of 20kg free checked baggage. To book, visit AllianceAirlines.com.au.

ENDS

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