Photo: from Alliance Airlines
Alliance Airlines have swooped in at the opportunity to take over Virgin Australia’s flight routes from Bundaberg Regional Airport.
The carrier will take over from Virgin Australia come July after Virgin Airlines decided to downsize their regional routes across Queensland and cease flights operating out of Bundaberg.
The Alliance airline says their F70 jet aircraft will hold 10 more passengers than Virgin's Turbo fleet and will complete the flight in a shorter time frame.
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett, who fronted a community campaign following Virgin’s initial announcement last month says its good news for the community.
He launched an online petition over concerns that the region would be left with one airline operating, impacting the cost of flights, local tourism and the business economy.
“I would like to congratulate the community for the role they have played in advocating to save our flights in and out of Bundaberg.”
“Over the past few days we have had incredible support from the community in signing the petition I launched to secure the future of flights at the Bundaberg Airport. I have no doubt that the community has contributed in building a strong case towards the continuation of reliable airline services in our region.”
Mayor Jack Dempsey said Council had remained confident another carrier would pick up the flights once Virgin’s current commitment to Bundaberg expired on July 17 this year.
“Competition is exceptionally important both from the perspective of local residents utilising this daily service but importantly our attractiveness as a visitor destination is also linked to flight costs.
“While Virgin have been very good for the Bundaberg Region, Council can appreciate its decisions which are based on commercial circumstances,” said Cr Dempsey.
Tourism and Regional Growth portfolio spokesman Cr Greg Barnes said the region will lose nothing with the engagement of Alliance Airlines which has indicated it will operate a similar package of flights as currently offered by Virgin.
“Alliance through its Australasian operations is based in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland and currently operates a fleet of 29 aircraft. The airline recently celebrated its 15th year of operation.
“Booking flights with the new carrier will be a simple matter with routes sold as Virgin Australia codeshare flights with full connectivity and Velocity Frequent Flyer benefits.
“The new jet flights will be quicker and have an additional 10 seat capacity which is great news for travellers.”
Cr Barnes said Council is looking forward to holding further discussions with Alliance Airlines regarding its proposed services operating from the airport and to share this information with the community as it becomes available.
Alliance Airlines will also undertake other routes operating to and from Brisbane in regional Queensland and which are currently serviced by Virgin Airlines.