14 December 2021

MEDIA RELEASE

Virgin Australia commences year-round flights between Adelaide and Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast Airport today welcomed the first Virgin Australia flight between Adelaide and Sunshine Coast as a year-round service, with VA1645 touching down from Adelaide at 12:05pm.

Commencement of the year-round service comes just in time for the peak Christmas holiday season, and will offer passengers more choice to travel between Sunshine Coast and the South Australian capital.

The Adelaide to Sunshine Coast service has been supported by the Queensland Government and will operate four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday) providing up to 1,408 seats a week between the two destinations.

With the service extended to become year-round, this major capacity boost will deliver more than 73,000 seats a year and will be operated by a 176 seat Boeing 737 jet.

Virgin Australia Group’s Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Alistair Hartley said he was pleased to be working with the Queensland Government to expand the airline’s domestic network and provide more travel opportunities for their passengers.

“Virgin Australia is committed to providing more ways to connect Australians, especially as we head into Christmas.  Thanks to this service, over 5,000 additional passengers can now travel between the Adelaide and the Sunshine Coast each month,” said Mr Hartley.

“That means more people get to have a swim at Noosa beach, visit the Eumundi Markets or surf at any one of the world-class beaches on the Sunshine Coast.

“Not only will the influx of South Australian travellers provide a boost to the hundreds of local tourism operators, businesses and hospitality venues who have been hit hard by the pandemic, it will also allow more of our award-winning crew to return to the skies.

“Since September Virgin Australia has added an additional 15 services to its domestic network, and we’re looking forward to seeing that grow further into 2022,” he said.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe welcomed the return of Virgin Australia’s Adelaide – Sunshine Coast service.

“The Palaszczuk Government understands the importance of aviation to the recovery of Queensland’s tourism industry,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

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

“Virgin Australia’s direct service from Adelaide is terrific news for tourism operators and the Sunshine Coast’s visitor economy.

“From pristine beaches to the laid-back hinterland, the Sunshine Coast has something for every South Australian to enjoy.

“The year-round direct service will give South Australians more opportunity to spend time on the Sunshine Coast.

“Whether it’s reuniting with family and friends over Christmas or a mid-year Adelaide winter escape, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is the place to be.”

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO, Andrew Brodie, said he was buoyed by Virgin Australia’s commencement of services and looks forward to connecting the two destinations, year-round.

“After the success of Virgin Australia’s seasonal service on this route throughout March and April this year, the decision to extend the route to become year-round is a real vote of confidence for our region”, Mr Brodie said.

“Operating four times a week, this service will accommodate both business and leisure travellers to provide more choice and flexibility to travel. This announcement also more than doubles the current number of services on the route”.

“These services come at a pertinent time for Christmas travel, and it’s wonderful that we can reconnect friends and family just in time for the peak holiday period”.

Mr Brodie added today’s commencement of services is great news for both locals looking to travel interstate, and our tourism industry.

“Locals are a tick under three hours away from being connected with some of the world’s best wineries throughout the Barossa and McLaren Vale, along with the exceptional produce, stunning natural landscapes and world-class events South Australia is renowned for”.

“For South Australians, the appeal of our own natural landscapes, beaches, consistent climate and locally-grown produce is sure to attract those from the Festival State in both peak and shoulder holiday seasons”.

Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson said “Virgin Australia’s announcement of new year-round flights between Adelaide and the Sunshine Coast is welcome news and perfect timing as we get ready for the summer holiday period”.

“Our industry look forward to welcoming back our South Australian friends and we will be encouraging our industry to take a holiday in South Australia, to ensure the success of these direct flights”.

CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast, Matt Stoeckel, said attracting high yield interstate visitors, such as those from South Australia, was a priority for the destination.

“The Sunshine Coast is a great fit for the South Australian market because of our fantastic natural attractions, exceptional experiences and great food. It’s a market with huge potential,” he said.

Ends

For further information

Contact: Sunshine Coast Airport Corporate Relations,

media@sunshinecoastairport.com.au

0439 835 301

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