The Queensland Government has announced it will match a $100 million investment from the state’s four largest airports in order to secure international flights and attract visitors to the eastern seaboard.
The news comes ahead of international borders reopening to the world on February 21, with the funding anticipated to help deliver more than 5.3 million airline seats per year – generating almost $4 billion.
The government's latest investment equals the combined $100 million effort of the Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Brisbane Airports to secure flights and help rebuild the state’s $6 billion tourism industry.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the investment is a great example of the government working with the private sector to rebuild the economy.
“We know that more flights means more tourists. That’s why international aviation connectivity is absolutely critical to the economic recovery of Queensland’s tourism industry,” the Premier said.
“This is the largest investment of any Australian state or territory in securing inbound international flights after COVID-19.
“The agreement we’ve made this week will enable our airports to negotiate with airlines and fast-track more direct flights into Queensland.”
Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills saw the move as “fantastic news” and confirmed Gold Coast international services would restart on Monday.
“The government has listened to the tourism and aviation industries and recognised the importance of supporting the restart of international services,” he said.
“It will take time for international travel to rebuild, but this funding will be critical in attracting airlines back to Queensland
“This funding package will bring forward airline commitments, deliver more international visitors, and provide a much-needed boost for the local economy.”
The Queensland government has injected more than $1 billion to support tourism and hospitality operators through the pandemic, and committed $10 million in the last budget to fast-track domestic aviation to the state’s best holiday destinations.
“Attracting international aviation is extremely competitive and that’s why we’re on the runway early to secure Queensland’s place on the destination boards of the world’s biggest airports,” Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
“Queensland’s $200 million international aviation plan coincides with the pending launch of the successful ‘Good to Go’ campaign into Singapore and the UK.
“The domestic ‘Good to Go’ campaign generated $7 billion for Queensland tourism operators, who have been savaged by the loss of international visitors to the pandemic.”
Hinchcliffe also announced the appointment of aviation professional Manny Gill to the new role of strategic aviation director in the Department of Tourism, who will oversee rebuilding the state’s domestic and international flight routes.
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