TOURISM BOOST AS AIRPORT NUMBERS TAKE OFF

TOURISM BOOST AS AIRPORT NUMBERS TAKE OFF

INTERNATIONAL passenger numbers at Gold Coast airport continue to grow with flights to and from New Zealand leading the way.

The Queensland Airports Limited facility recorded 450,876 passengers for April, an increase of 5.4 per cent on the same month last year.

There were 61,008 international passengers through the airport in April this year, up 7.7 per cent on the corresponding period in 2011. Domestic passengers were up 5.1 per cent to 389,868.

The Easter and school holiday travel period fell in April this year and last year.

QAL Managing Director Dennis Chant (pictured) says the latest numbers are pleasing.

“Both Easter and school holidays fell at the beginning of April which led to an increase in leisure and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) passenger traffic,” says Chant.

“It’s extremely pleasing to note that the New Zealand market performed particularly well, achieving consistently strong loads throughout the month.”

Further growth in passenger numbers is likely with the inaugural service by budget carrier Scoot scheduled to arrive on June 12, expanding to five direct flights a week between Singapore and the Gold Coast from June 27.

QAL also saw passenger growth at Townsville (0.7 per cent) and Mount Isa (9 per cent). Across the three airports, QAL reported a 4.4 per cent increase with 609,000 passengers.

The figures come after the recent approval of the Gold Coast Airport’s new master plan, which includes a change of use within the terminal precinct for the expansion of the terminal and the relocation of the landing threshold on runway 32 by about 310 metres.

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