FLY-IN, fly-out workers in the resources industry will be in for an early present with direct flights to Mackay expected before Christmas.
Sunshine Coast Airport manager Peter Pallot said he was confident a deal would be in place by the end of the year, providing a major boost for the region's 10,000-strong fly-in, fly-out workforce.
The news came as the Coast welcomed the return of Tiger Airways flights from Melbourne.
Only two seats were vacant on Tiger's first flight back to the Sunshine Coast since the airline was grounded in 2011. Bookings are also extremely strong for the entire Easter holiday.
Tiger Airways is initially offering flights four days a week on the Melbourne to Sunshine Coast route, but hopes to bump this figure up to seven days a week by June.
This will mean an extra 2520 visitor seats weekly through the Sunshine Coast Airport.
But what the Sunshine Coast has lacked for too long is services flying north.
After months of negotiations, Mr Pallot believes this is finally on the table.
"This has been our highest priority," he said.
"There is a strong demand with up to 10,000 Sunshine Coast residents involved in the mining industry. We are bringing all the parties to the table - the mining companies, the airlines and the recruitment agencies - and believe it can be done before Christmas."
The first aim was to secure regular trips to Mackay, followed by Gladstone, Emerald and Cairns.
Mr Pallot said having the flights in place by Christmas would give those living up north an opportunity to enjoy the swimmer-friendly Sunshine Coast beaches over summer.
"You can't swim in the sea in Mackay at Christmas, so it would be wonderful for people there to be able to take a break here," he said.
"It's not just about providing a service for our residents to fly up to the mines north. It is also about giving those working in the north an opportunity to enjoy a well-earned break."
Mr Pallot said the airport had long had the "capacity and the willingness to work" with the major airlines in bringing this vision to reality.
Mayor Mark Jamieson, Mr Pallot and councillors Jason O'Pray and Steve Robinson were also on the ground yesterday as Tiger flights roared back into the Coast.
Cr Jamieson said the return of Tiger was a "really important stimulus" for the region and a fantastic opportunity for tourists and businesses.
Inspection required to really appreciate what's on offer! From the moment you walk through the door, you realize no expense has been spared in this modern...
Welcome to 113 Wilson Road, your very own private sanctuary of calm. This 2 bedroom 5 year old modern architecturally designed home is located only minutes to the...
Our owner is already overseas in her mind and has given the Agents clear instructions, "I need it sold yesterday" and again "no pressure Mr Real Estate agent". How...
Located in popular Headland Park this lowset family home offers relaxed, comfortable living, built and designed for entertaining and leisure with minimal...
This is your opportunity to buy in the highly sought after Bokarina Beach Court's! Walk 100m down your paved cul-de-sac to the pet friendly Beach Access # 242 and...
182 THOMPSON ROAD - AN EXCEPTIONAL LIFESTYLE OPPORTUNITY AWAITS! Enjoying what is without a doubt one of the most inspiring vantage points to be found anywhere...
Situated at the head of Rainbow Court in family friendly Woombye this recently constructed four bedroom two bathroom home offers a wonderful combination of relaxed...
- Stunning views of Caloundra, Bribie Island and Pumicestone Passage - Magnificent, fully furnished 1 Bedroom self contained apartment - Large bathroom featuring a...
It's time to fall in love with your beautiful BRAND NEW architecturally designed home! You will love the PERFECT POSITION - centrally located just a few minutes'...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.