No new cases as Premier faces continued anger over Blackwater
No new cases as Premier faces continued anger over Blackwater

$99 flights from Brisbane: Qld tropics reopen for business

QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced new flights for just $99 will operate between Brisbane and the Whitsundays in a bid to restart the state's tourism industry.

In Airlie Beach this morning spruiking tourism amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she announced Alliance Airlines will fly four times per week from Brisbane to the Whitsundays from June 22.

Fares will start from $99.

"Going on sale today, extra flights from Brisbane to the Whitsundays will go on sale," the Premier said.

"From June 22, Alliance Airlines will fly four times per week with flights starting from just $99.

"Tourism operators are already reporting 200 per cent increases in bookings since the COVID crisis began.

Southeast Queenslanders have been encouraged to head to The Whitsundays.
Southeast Queenslanders have been encouraged to head to The Whitsundays.

"Tourism supports one in three jobs in the Whitsundays. We know how crucial this industry is to the livelihoods of people in this region.

"Now is your opportunity to support the Whitsundays."

Ms Palaszczuk said the State Government was in negotiations with Qantas, after announcing Alliance would begin extra flights later this month.

"We're actually in discussions with airlines about opportunities right across regional Queensland, and of course we're in negotiations as well with Qantas as well," she said.

"So hopefully we'll see more announcements over the coming week."

Tourism Minister Kate Jones encouraged everyone from the southeast to travel north, conceding tourism bodies had suffered significant blows during the pandemic.

She said flights would generate more than $9.2 million - bringing nearly 5300 tourists to the region over the next 12 months.

The flights would create more than 85 local jobs.

The total number of cases remains at 1059.

The premier and her deputy yesterday apologised to Nathan Turner's family after he tested positive and then negative for COVID-19.

The town of Blackwater was swarmed by health officials desperate to trace the source of his supposed fatal infection while his family and loves ones grieved in quarantine.

The 30-year-old initially tested positive after he died last week, but further tests returned a negative result.

On Tuesday, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the former miner's family will never know if he had the disease.

"There are two potential answers here," she said.

"One is that it was a false positive. The other is that it was a true positive and we won't know which it was."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier Steven Miles apologised to Mr Turner's family, his loved ones and the town of Blackwater for the distress the government's response had caused.

"We have to treat every positive test as though it is a positive case," Mr Miles.

"However, I would like to personally apologise to his partner and his family for any distress that our actions in responding rapidly has caused them. I know it's been incredibly distressing for them."

Meanwhile, a woman who arrived in Brisbane on a flight from Africa last week has tested positive to coronavirus.

She and all other passengers who arrived in Queensland have been in quarantine since they arrived.

Originally published as $99 flights from Brisbane: Qld tropics reopen for business


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