News

Virgin to fly to and from Bundy, Qantas welcomes competitor

The Bundaberg Airport. Photo: Submitted
The Bundaberg Airport. Photo: Submitted

BUNDABERG travellers are soaring on cloud nine after Virgin Australia announced it will offer a daily Bundaberg to Brisbane return service, starting May 4.

The arrival of a second carrier comes after years of negotiations with a variety of airlines - with Virgin being the main contender - as well as a $27 million airport upgrade in 2008.

Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman said the announcement was "excellent" news.

Virgin has confirmed its ATR-72 Turboprop aircraft will operate a daily flight to Bundaberg, departing Brisbane at 12.40pm and arriving into the rum city at 1.40pm.

The return flight will depart Bundaberg Airport at 2.10pm and arrive in Brisbane at 3.10pm.

"Bundaberg has been a monopoly market for over 10 years and the local community and tourism operators have told us that they would welcome competition in the region," Virgin Alliances, Network and Yield group executive Merren McArthur said.

"The midday flight is convenient for holiday makers and business travellers, as there are 11 domestic and international connections within three hours of the flight landing in Brisbane."

Fares go on sale on the Virgin website from Saturday.

Cr Forman said negotiations for a second airline had started about eight years ago with the former Bundaberg City Council, and continued after amalgamation under the direction of then-mayor Lorraine Pyefinch.

"We've been able to continue those negotiations since I became mayor," Cr Forman said.

Cr Forman said the additional flight would be a boost for the local economy.

"It will increase competition and that will hopefully mean cheaper airfares," he said.

Former Bundaberg region Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said she was pleased to hear the news today.

"We would have never got that without the investment we made in the airport upgrade," she said.

"You have to have the infrastructure before they will consider a new route."

Mrs Pyefinch said council had come close to securing the airline a couple of times during her years as mayor.

"We always knew (Virgin) were buying a number of those ATR-72 planes specifically designed for regional routes, including Bundaberg," she said.

"It was always a case of when, not if.

"We had the infrastructure right, we put through all the information and it was just to be a commercial decision of the airline to commit to the route."

Qantas has been flying to Bundaberg for more than 30 years and today welcomed news of a competitor.

"We welcome competition because in the end it's the consumer who benefits," a spokesperson said.

"We're committed to supporting local communities and business, with 28 return services per week between Brisbane and Bundaberg for a total of 3200 seats."

Earlier:

VIRGIN Australia has announced it will start flights between Brisbane and Bundaberg on May 4.

Virgin Australia's ATR-72 Turboprop aircraft1 will operate a daily return flight which has been timed to allow for convenient transfers to connecting flights out of Brisbane.

Virgin group executive of alliances, network and yield Merren McArthur said Bundaberg had been a monopoly market for more than a decade and that people in the region wanted competition.

"The midday flight is convenient for holiday makers and business travellers alike, as there are 11 domestic and international connections within three hours of the flight landing in Brisbane," she said.

"We continue to expand our operations in regional Queensland utilising our highly fuel efficient and comfortable ATR-72 turboprop aircraft which we launched in October 2011.

"Virgin Australia has a reputation for offering competitive airfares and exceptional service and we look forward to serving the people of Bundaberg."

Travellers will also be able to earn points with Virgin Australia's award-winning loyalty program, Velocity Frequent Flyer2.

Ms McArthur also announced that Virgin Australia will hold a community day in Bundaberg in the next few months, giving locals the chance to board the ATR-72 turboprop aircraft and meet Virgin Australia pilots and crew.

More detail will be provided soon.

Flights will depart Brisbane at 12.40pm arriving into Bundaberg at 1.40pm and depart Bundaberg at 2.10pm, arriving in Brisbane at 3.10pm.

Fares will go on sale from from their website this weekend and to celebrate, Virgin Australia will offer special promotional fares on sale until March 12 from as little as $59 one way.

Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman said it was wonderful news for the region.

Topics:  bundaberg airport, mal forman, virgin airlines



Nine males, one female; divers watch turtles get frisky

Mating season ends this month.

One female, nine males, this is all part of nature for turtles

Unlike: the Facebook scam targeting Bundy businesses

ALARM BELLS: Cool Bananas co-owner Sharlene Gemming managed to avoid the phishing trap. Photo: Eliza Goetze / NewsMail

Scammers are targetting local cafes on Facebook

Local Partners

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

WATCH: Justin Bieber grabbed in Germany

A video has emerged of singer Justin Bieber being attacked

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state