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.

Local Partners

9 reasons to take the kids to Woodford Folk Festival

WOODFORD Folk Festival is packed full of wonders, workshops and transformative experience for adults, but guess what? There's a whole festival for children too.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Countdown to Woodford Folk Festival begins

ECONOMIC BOON: Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Photo Contributed

The first larger-than-life inhabitants have stepped into Woodfordia

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

9 reasons to take the kids to Woodford Folk Festival

FAMILY FREINDLY: Woodford Folk Festival has something for everyone.

If you're thinking about leaving the kids at home, think again

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!