07-Dec-2009 | The Minister for Tourism and the Arts, Michelle O’Byrne, today said the announcement by QantasLink that it was increasing its services and capacity into Northern Tasmania was a major sign of continuing confidence in Tasmania’s tourism sector.Ms O’Byrne, said the announcement was great news for Tasmanians, particularly those in the State’s North, and visitors alike.
“Launceston and the North-West Coast will benefit from additional flights, and the introduction of the larger Q400 aircraft on some of these additional services,” Ms O’Byrne said.
From 1 February QantasLink will be running three additional Melbourne-Launceston return services a week operated by Q400 aircraft; and one additional Melbourne-Devonport return service a week, operated by Q400 aircraft,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“The additional flights and larger planes will increase capacity on the QantasLink Melbourne-Launceston service by 540 seats per week, and 484 seats per week on the Melbourne-Devonport route.
“The introduction of the new aircrafts will mean Tasmania is even closer to domestic visitors, with both flight times to Launceston and Devonport from Melbourne on the Q400s improving from 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes.”
Ms O’Byrne said the State Government’s tourism marketing initiatives continue to drive record visitation to the State, which is putting pressure on the airlines to keep up with demand.
“The QantasLink announcement is welcome news for the tourism and event operators in northern Tasmania preparing for a big year of events in 2010.
“The north is home to high-profile events such as Festivale, MS Fest and AFL games at Aurora Stadium, which bring visitors to our State throughout the year.
“With Launceston Airport running at near peak capacity, these additional flights are greatly needed. The decision by QantasLink to increase capacity and offer shorter flight times will give visitors even more reasons to travel here.
“This announcement recognises how well Tasmania is performing as a tourism destination. At a time when flights to other domestic destinations are being withdrawn, Tasmania continues to grow its air services – crucial for visitor access to our island state,” Ms O’Byrne said.
Minister for Tourism and the Arts
Tasmanian Government Communications Unit
Phone: (03) 6233 6573