Flights boosted

Travellers using the Mount Gambier Airport will now have more flights to choose from following a QantasLink announcement.

From July 1 QantasLink will more than double the number of flights between Mount Gambier and Adelaide with new services “conveniently scheduled at peak business travel times”.

The additional flights are a sign of confidence in the region, according to local authorities. QantasLink currently operates five weekly return flights from Mount Gambier to Adelaide which will increase to 12 weekly return flights, offering 1200 seats on the route each week, up from 500. “The new flight schedule will enable day trips into both Adelaide and Mount Gambier,” a QantasLink spokesperson said.

“We’re proud to help drive more visitors to Mount Gambier and provide a boost for the diverse and growing economy. “These new flights will offer the Mount Gambier community more choice and a convenient schedule suited to business travel with onward connections to our extensive network.

“We’re continuing to work with our tourism partners to promote the region to millions of our frequent flyers around the country.” Destination development manager Biddie Shearing was thrilled to learn of the increased flight schedule. “I think it is just incredible that Qantas has been able to listen to the needs of the community and respond so quickly,” she said.

“This is a real signal of confidence in the region from a major brand like Qantas. “It’s going to be really beneficial and provide more options for our community whether travelling for business, medical reasons or even for leisure.

“There has been a provision of that from REX but I think that what Qantas has realised with initial scheduling is that there is real demand for up and back in one day, or business travel or medical travel,” Mrs Shearing said.

The destination development manager said increasing flights to Adelaide allowed passengers to align with connecting flights to other destinations. “It’s a real confidence booster to the region, I feel like we have really arrived, they have listened to the needs and been able to accommodate that,” she said.

“As a community we need to support this kind of service if we need it to be there and I’m sure we will.” Mrs Shearing said additional flights would be enticing to the business community looking to host events in the region.

“In terms of my role we will be doing everything we can to encourage leisure travel, as well as business and corporate travel to the region,” she said. “We have a plan to do that, this signal from Qantas will help us to go after that small business conference market. “The access has improved so that will help people, we will be quite strategic in trying to lure that business travel to the region.

“It also will help the new Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre as they are looking to attract people to that big centre, that is a big help for them to be able to create opportunities for our community through that centre.

“It gives us visual representation by Qantas which has a huge data base and that gives great reach both in Australia and internationally. “Mount Gambier is now positioned with that brand, we cannot buy that kind of marketing.”

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