- Wednesday 20 January 2016
Sunshine Coast Airport has entered 2016 on a high thanks to continuing growth in passenger trends for the month, half year and 2015 calendar year – and there are more flights for the region coming soon with Qantas starting its business friendly schedule on February 9.
The six months from July to December 2015 saw 508,808 passengers use the flight services at Sunshine Coast Airport – a 12% increase year on year and the highest number on record for a six-month period.
The second half of 2015 topped off a fantastic period of performance with full calendar year growth of 4% year on year, equalling 907,721 passenger movements.
The positive statistics have been further highlighted by the airport’s ongoing leadership of the Commonwealth Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) growth chart for Australian major airports.
Sunshine Coast Airport has been number one in the country each month since July 2015.
BITRE data for October released last week showed the airport experienced a 9.5% increase in total passengers for the month compared to the same period 12 months ago, sitting above Hobart (3.9%) and Cairns (1.7%) in second and third places respectively.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the airport’s sustained growth was great news for the local economy.
“The more people using our airport, the better it is for our Sunshine Coast residents and businesses,” he said.
“We are seeing month after month of strong figures, and a sequence of records, showing the increased desire by locals and visitors to use our airport.”
The month of December was a particular highlight for the airport with strong performance accompanied by the commencement of two new services.
Sunshine Coast Airport General Manager Peter Pallot said the passenger figures for December were the highest on record for the month and represented a 19% year-on-year growth rate.
“A total of 87,097 passengers travelled through our airport in December which represents outstanding growth on 2014 and is testament to our growing popularity amongst locals and visitors alike,” Mr Pallot said.
“Jetstar and Virgin Australia both recorded growth on their Sydney and Melbourne routes, Air New Zealand started direct summer services to Auckland, and Qantas commenced flights in December. 2015 was an amazing year for Sunshine Coast Airport, we can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.”
Qantas flights returned to the Sunshine Coast on December 21 with timing designed to meet the needs of the holiday traveller through until January 31. The long-awaited start of business friendly flights allowing Sunshine Coasters to fly from their local airport, arrive in Sydney to do a full day’s work and return again that evening, will commence from February 9.
The Qantas “Sydney in a day” services will depart Sunshine Coast Airport at 6.40am arriving into Sydney at 9.15am (AEDT). Evening services will depart Sydney at 5.40pm to return back to the Sunshine Coast at 6.15pm. Flights will operate six times per week on the two-class Boeing 717.
Air New Zealand summer flight services operate twice a week between Sunshine Coast and Auckland through until February 28, 2016. The 2016 winter season flights will begin from July 1 and run until the end of October offering four flights a week in the peak period.
Australia’s fastest growing major airports by total passenger numbers
1 Sunshine Coast 9.5%
2 Hobart 3.9%
3 Cairns 1.7%
* Source: Commonwealth Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE)