News

Pallot confident in Sunshine Coast to Mackay FIFO route

Flights to Mackay could be an early Christmas present to the Sunshine Coast's 10,000 strong fly-in, fly-out workforce.
Flights to Mackay could be an early Christmas present to the Sunshine Coast's 10,000 strong fly-in, fly-out workforce. Zavalnyuk Sergey

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.

Topics:  fly in fly out, mining, peter pallot, sunshine coast airport, tiger airways


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Police appeal for witnesses in Narangba

Police car.
Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Police are investigating an argumat at Burpengary Rd and Mackie Rd.

Seniors are getting fitter than youth

SENIOR ATHLETE: Triathlete Peter Brown is in his 60s but feels confident in running a marathon.

Those over 50-years-old could be fitter than younger generations.

Highway to hell as commuters face 8km traffic snarl

What does this S stand for, do you think?

So commuters, what does this 'S' stand for?

Latest deals and offers

Police prevent crime with community initiative

Caboolture police officers took the time to get closer with the community with their Coffee With a Cop initiative on Wednesday, June 22.

Police appeal for witnesses in Narangba

Police car.
Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Police are investigating an argumat at Burpengary Rd and Mackie Rd.

Seniors are getting fitter than youth

SENIOR ATHLETE: Triathlete Peter Brown is in his 60s but feels confident in running a marathon.

Those over 50-years-old could be fitter than younger generations.

Highway to hell as commuters face 8km traffic snarl

What does this S stand for, do you think?

So commuters, what does this 'S' stand for?

Cartmill under investigation for flood response

The remaining four horse are led out of Cartmill Centre of Riding for the Disabled, Burpengary before they got flooded (in 2015).

Neighbours say they waded through chest-high water to save horses

Suicide shaping as one of Longman's biggest election issues

POLICY IN THE PARK: All 11 candidates for Longman attended the candidate forum held last Thursday.

Suicide shaping as one of Longman's biggest election issues

Caitlyn Shadbolt, Sara Storer join Gympie Muster bill

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at CMC Rocks in March 2016.

AWARD-winning singers star in third line-up announcement.

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

F1 pit stop in 1.92 seconds

Williams team make 1.92 second pit stop.

Williams Formula 1 team change all four tyres in equal fastest time ever.

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"