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Growth gives strength to direct Sydney- Melbourne Flight bid

By Tammy Laval

Reports that consistent growth in Mackay Airport passenger numbers adds strength to regions push for direct Sydney and Melbourne flights.  Particularly after the removal of these direct routes by various airlines over the region’s coal industry decline.

The statistics have reached a 6month high after substantial growth month by month during 2018, with the data revealing a 22% traffic increase compared to the same time last year.

Mackay Airport manager Rob Porter said, “the significant increase could somewhat be attributed to Tropical Cyclone Debbie’s impact on operations last March, but after adjustments to address this, a substantial increase remained”.

With the airport closed for 4days during Cyclone Debbie, and the adjustment for this impact accounted for, the growth of 10% across the monthly rates are the highest for the past 6months.

“The normalised numbers after Cyclone Debbie show that people are still coming back, so that is great for our recovery from that event.  Traffic is still on the rise,”  Mr Porter said.

“I think it has been a slow but steady increase in passenger numbers and we have had a very exciting last 7-8 months”.

FIFO workers in regional Queensland traveling to mines throughout the state is having an impact on airport data, with the latest figures revealing the annual growth.

Overall the last 12months statistics highlight a 4% rise in travelers with 811,340 utilising air travel compared to 776,810 in the previous 12month period.

Mr Porter said, “This just adds further weight for us to look for further services to Melbourne and Sydney.  As we continue to grow, the demand for those other services will be there as well”.

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