13 December 2021

MEDIA RELEASE

Emotional scenes at Sunshine Coast Airport as holidaymakers reunite

Sunshine Coast Airport has today welcomed fully vaccinated interstate family and friends who no longer need to quarantine when touching down in Queensland.

Queensland’s Vaccine Plan to Unite Families has reopened the border four days earlier with 80 per cent of Queenslanders on average now fully vaccinated.

Today’s easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions brings the celebration and laughter of reunions to Sunshine Coast Airport’s arrivals’ hall.

The airport is welcoming passengers arriving on direct flights from Melbourne and Sydney with gift bags promoting iconic Sunshine Coast and Noosa produce, tourism experiences and festive treats.

Sunshine Coast Airport Chief Executive, Andrew Brodie, said quarantine-free travel from interstate was the best Christmas present for the airport and both the Sunshine Coast and Noosa tourism industry.

“Today is the start of a new chapter for aviation as we accelerate our recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Brodie said.

“We are thrilled our southern friends from Sydney and Melbourne can travel with confidence to the Sunshine Coast, just in time for the peak holiday season”.

“All Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia flights today arriving from Sydney and Melbourne are fully booked.

“This shows the pent-up demand for domestic travel, especially to the Sunshine Coast, and we can’t wait to ramp up our schedule over the coming weeks to reconnect family, friends and colleagues”.

Mr Brodie added today’s commencement of services is great news too for locals hoping to travel.

“Locals now have the option to fly to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide or Newcastle with four different airlines, knowing they can travel with confidence”.

“Whether you’re visiting friends or family, have been putting off that short getaway or need to connect face to face with clients, the time has now come to travel once again”.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said quarantine-free interstate flights to the Sunshine Coast were possible because of the great work of Queenslanders.

“During the pandemic, Queenslanders have worked hard to manage the health impacts of Covid-19 and rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated for our Economic Recovery Plan,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The Palaszczuk Government understands the importance of aviation to tourism recovery on the Sunshine Coast.

“That’s why we’re continuing to support Queensland airports to get flights back in the air to the State’s tourism destinations.

“Fully booked flights of fully vaccinated interstate passengers is terrific news for local tourism operators and the Sunshine Coast’s visitor economy.”

Matt Stoeckel, CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast said after months of uncertainty for the tourism industry, our state’s borders re-opening to Australia is a moment worth celebrating.

“This day has been a long time coming, not only for our local business who rely on interstate travellers, but friends and family who have been separated from their loved ones.

“Prior to COVID, we attracted 1 million visitors per year from the New South Wales and Victorian interstate markets alone. These guests are critical for the Sunshine Coast as they stay longer and spend more in the region.

“It has been a challenging time for tourism businesses on the Sunshine Coast, but we are optimistic for a strong revival in interstate travel with the re-opening of borders.”

Tourism Noosa CEO, Melanie Anderson, said she was thrilled to have interstate travellers once again be able to enjoy the Noosa region.

“We are so thrilled to be welcoming back our interstate visitors into Queensland and especially into Noosa. It’s fantastic to hear that the flight schedules coming into the Sunshine Coast are looking so good! We are excited for a great year ahead with lots of visitors!”

Ends

For further information

Contact: Sunshine Coast Airport Corporate Relations,

media@sunshinecoastairport.com.au

0439 835 301

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