IT'S already the seventh busiest air route in Australia, and Qantas, along with its budget offshoot Jetstar, is about to make it busier.
The airlines have each added daily services between Melbourne and Gold Coast to cater for growing demand for domestic holidays in the wake of a falling Aussie dollar.
The move will see close to 200,000 more passenger movements between the cities, with Jetstar taking the lion's share.
Qantas, which resumed flights to the Gold Coast in 2012 after a four-year absence during the GFC, this week started direct daily services between the cities following the success of its Sydney-Gold Coast service.
The service will add 61,000 seats into the Gold Coast market a year, while Jetstar will boost passenger numbers by 131,000 with its new daily service from Avalon.
Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer David Collins says the services will benefit both destinations and accommodate the inbound and outbound markets.
"Over the last 12 months Jetstar have commenced services to Wellington, Queenstown, Perth, Fiji, and Wuhan, and we are excited to now welcome the Avalon service to the line-up," Collins says.
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall says a number of destinations were considered before settling on an additional Gold Coast route.
"Full credit to the local tourism offering and airport management that we chose the Gold Coast," Hall says.
"Our customers love the Gold Coast and all it has to offer so we're excited that tens of thousands more Victorians can now fly there direct from Avalon every year.
"We're also pleased to be opening up new travel opportunities for Gold Coast locals as Avalon is the regional gateway to some of Victoria's most iconic attractions like the Great Ocean Road and Twelve Apostles, along with incredible food and wine country down the south-west coast."
Qantas says its new daily return services have been introduced to meet growing demand for a premium service option on the Melbourne-Gold Coast route.
Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter describes Melbourne as an important market for the Gold Coast, and its second-largest source of interstate visitors.
"We expect this partnership with Qantas and the new daily services will reinforce the Gold Coast's position as the holiday destination of choice for Melburnians," Winter says.
Qantas plans to further expand its presence in Queensland when it returns to the Sunshine Coast on December 21 with flights between Sydney and Maroochydore.
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