Virgin Australia has announced its first non-stop flights from Perth to the Gold Coast, which are tipped to bring a tourist boost to WA.
The flights will also contribute to 27,000 seats to the Queensland holiday hotspot during the Christmas travel period and will provide another avenue for travellers to come to Perth.
The twice-weekly Boeing 737-800 Perth Gold-Coast service will join up to seven return flights per week to the holiday destination from Auckland and Canberra and up to 10 return flights per week from Adelaide.
There will also be up to 54 weekly flights between Melbourne and the Gold Coast and up to 61 per week from Sydney.
Currently, Virgin only operates flights from Perth to the Gold Coast with a stop in Melbourne or Sydney.
The new Perth route will operate between December 13 and January 26 and will be a daytime flight.
“This new service will help to drive tourism in Perth and the Gold Coast and we look forward to providing ease of travel between two very popular locations during the summer holidays,” Virgin Australia general manager network revenue and alliances Russell Shaw said.
Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer Marion Charlton said the Perth service and the added capacity from key markets would benefit Gold Tourism while Perth Airport’s Debra Blaskett said it provided another affordable and convenient holiday option for West Australian travellers.
The announcement coincides with the inaugural flight Monday of Virgin’s new Perth-Hobart service.
The three times weekly service operated by Boeing 737 aircraft recognizes Tasmania’s growing popularity as a tourist destination as well as the lure for Tasmanians of Western Australia’s café and beach culture.
Operating, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it saves at least an hour of travel and means passengers can avoid connecting through Melbourne.
“It’s been great to work with Virgin Australia to provide what we think is the best domestic terminal and best passenger experience in Australia and to give them the confidence to develop new and expanded routes,” Ms Blaskett said.