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Sunshine Coast taps into regional tourism boom with start of direct flights from Newcastle

January 5, 2021 Aviation No Comments

Sunshine Coast Airport today welcomed a new carrier, Fly Pelican, bringing residents from Newcastle and the Hunter Valley region to the Sunshine Coast three-times-a-week in a seasonal service that will operate until the end of March.

The service will be operated by a 19 seat Jetstream turbo prop, and has been timed to make the most of the summer months. It was secured with support of the Queensland Government’s $15 million Aviation Recovery Fund.

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie said he was excited to welcome Newcastle based airline, Fly Pelican, to the Coast for the first time.

“The direct service opens up a significant new visitor market for local Sunshine Coast tourism operators, in what has been a very challenging environment over the last 10 months,” said Mr Brodie.

“We’ve been really pleased to work with the Queensland Government, Visit Sunshine Coast, Tourism Noosa and our airline partners to build new destinations and new opportunities for our region.”

Fly Pelican CEO Marty Hawley said the airline was delighted to connect two world-class visitor destinations over the summer months.

“It is really exciting to launch this new service, linking the Sunshine Coast to Newcastle for the first time ever,” Mr Hawley said.

“We encourage locals at both ends to explore a beautiful part of Australia, support the service and help make it a long-term proposition.”

Visit Sunshine Coast Industry & Membership Development Manager Andrew Fairbairn welcomed the commencement of the new route, which reflected a growing visitor market.

“One of the most significant trends of 2020 was the growth in regional NSW travel to the Sunshine Coast, and the new direct services from Newcastle will help accelerate this trend.

“There are over one million people in the Hunter Valley/Central Coast region, and the Sunshine Coast makes an ideal destination for short-breaks, family holidays and lovers of the great outdoors.”

Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson said more connections to new destinations created further awareness and visitation for Noosa and its tourism.

“Newcastle and Noosa have a synergy with beautiful beaches, a great dining scene and lots to explore on our doorstep, so I have no doubt the route will be a success and we look forward to welcoming new guests and reconnecting with repeat visitors”, Ms Anderson said.

The service operates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Ticket prices start from $199 one-way and are available at flypelican.com.au or through travel agents. .

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