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Last week, Mayor Natoli requested a meeting with Premier Steven Miles to discuss the economic impacts of losing Bonza Airlines, which could exceed $100 million.

The airline's closure affects not just its 150 staff, but also a wide range of local businesses.

Following a meeting with the State Government, the Tourism Minister contacted Mayor Natoli to advise they could provide assistance through the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.

The Fund will support direct Jetstar flights from Sunshine Coast Airport to Auckland all year round, starting in December 2024.

Jetstar has also announced flights between Cairns and Sunshine Coast, taking off up to four times a week from 3 December 2024.

Mayor Natoli welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement. 

“I thank the State Government for listening to our community’s concerns and responding promptly to our call to help support our local economy,” Mayor Natoli said.

“While more needs to be done, the new Jetstar flights are a positive step forward.

“New Zealand is our largest international market, and the new flights will bring an influx of travellers, which will be a major boost for our tourism sector and local businesses.

“These flights will attract visitors all year round and help so many local businesses flourish – from our coast to our hinterland.

“This announcement is in addition to Air New Zealand’s seasonal direct service between the Sunshine Coast and Auckland resuming on June 26.

“The Sunshine Coast is ready to welcome our Kiwi and Cairns visitors and we know they will love our wide variety of attractions, accommodation and experiences.

“Plus, our locals who love to visit family and friends in NZ or Cairns, or who want to holiday there, will appreciate the direct services year-round. This is great news for so many.”