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MELBOURNE FLIGHTS: Airline confirms interest in Fraser Coast

BIG OPPORTUNITY: An  unidentified airline is looking into offering direct flights between Hervey Bay and Melbourne.
BIG OPPORTUNITY: An unidentified airline is looking into offering direct flights between Hervey Bay and Melbourne. Alistair Brightman

UPDATE 12.20PM: REGIONAL airline JetGo has confirmed it is considering bringing Melbourne flights to Hervey Bay.

The announcement follows Bay2Dore owner Rob Braddock and Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft  both alluding to talks of an unnamed airline planning to bring Melbourne flights to the region as of July this year.

Managing director of the airline Paul Bredereck told the Chronicle nothing had been confirmed at this point, but the Australian-based company was looking at its options to come to the Fraser Coast.

"Jetgo Aus is currently in discussion with Fraser Coast regional council about the possibility of direct flights between Hervey Bay and Melbourne's Essendon Airport," Mr Bredereck said.

JetGo currently flies from the cities of Melbourne and Brisbane to regional areas including Townsville, Rockhampton, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga in planes that fit 36 passengers and 1,000kg of luggage.

EARLIER: DIRECT flights from Hervey Bay to Melbourne could soon be a reality, with an unknown airliner reportedly "expressing interest" in starting the route from July this year.

The announcement comes after Bay2Dore owner Rob Braddock hinted at the possibility of the flight route on his social media page, saying the airliner would be offering a two hour and five minute flight at $300-330 a seat.

The name of the airliner was not revealed.

Would you like to see flights from Hervey Bay to Melbourne?

This poll ended on 17 May 2017.

Current Results

Yes, I think it will be great for the region

93%

No, I don't think it will be popular

6%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mr Braddock, who said the route in question had been on his agenda for the past three years, said it would "open the floodgate" for the region's tourism.

"It's been a passion of mine for the whole of the Fraser Coast and Wide Bay. It will be better for everybody," he said.

Mr Braddock claimed the cities of Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney brought in a combined 24,000 visitors to the region.

In his weekly mayoral message, Cr Loft confirmed he had been in discussions with an airline company "interested in providing direct flights from Hervey Bay to Melbourne, and vice versa."

"We need to get a good idea of how much support these flights would have to make sure it is a community backed idea and not a short term trial that isn't viable for the airline company," Cr Loft said.

"This is just a glimpse of the great things to come for the region...and people wanting to bring their companies, passion and services to the Fraser Coast."

The proposal of direct flights from Melbourne has been a talking point for years on the Fraser Coast, with Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president stating the region would need to sustain strong tourism figures to get representation with airline companies earlier in April.

Aviation councillor Paul Truscott said he supported any initiative to get direct flights in the region, but clarified there needed to be "between 40,000 and 60,000 passenger movements to make it viable."

Topics:  fccommunity fcdevelopment fraser coast hervey bay melbourne


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