Canberra Airport has added another destination to its growing suite of holiday routes, announcing its first direct flights to Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid North Coast.
The Airport has partnered with Port Macquarie Airport and regional airline Fly Pelican, which is already flying to Ballina-Byron from Canberra.
From 1 November, Fly Pelican will fly direct twice a week from Canberra Airport, with a launch price of $149 one-way.
Fly Pelican operates a fleet of Jetstream 32 turboprop aircraft which can seat 19 passengers. The flight to Port Macquarie will take an hour and 40 minutes, and bookings are open.
It will offer Canberrans another northern holiday option and give ACT businesses, tourism operators and the economy a boost from more inbound visitors to the national capital.
Head of Aviation, Michael Thomson said the new partnership was another step in the Airport’s recovery from COVID-19’s impact on the aviation industry.
“Fly Pelican has been a long-time partner of Canberra Airport and, after the recent success with the Canberra to Ballina/Byron route, we are sure to see similar results again with Canberra to Port Macquarie,” he said.
”We are also delighted to be partnering with Port Macquarie Airport to share this fantastic new travel offering to our regions.”
Mr Thomson said the Airport was experiencing a very positive return of aviation with flights increasing from 34 two weeks ago to 66 this week.
”With more flights and more destinations on offer like Port Macquarie, we are confident this will continue, bringing more people to our region and providing more opportunity for Canberrans to travel,” he said.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said a strong domestic network for Canberra would be critical in helping our local tourism industry recover over the coming months and years.
”This is another great new route announcement that shows confidence in Canberra as a tourist destination and provides another option for Canberrans to take a short break away,” he said.
Fly Pelican Chief Executive Officer, Marty Hawley said the regional airline was thrilled to expand its network out of the nation’s capital and connect with the much-loved destination of Port Macquarie.
“The initial twice weekly services will be convenient for the leisure and business traveller, reducing the travel time by many hours. Working collaboratively on the launch of this new route with both airports has been a sensible approach to ensure the friends, families and businesses of regional Australia are connected,” he said.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Mayor Peta Pinson said new services demonstrated Fly Pelican’s confidence in the region’s growing community and recovery from COVID-19.
”Direct services to our nation’s capital will provide an exciting addition to the airline services available at Port Macquarie Airport, and will further promote our region as a leading business and tourism destination on the NSW Mid North Coast,” she said.
The news comes after recent announcements of Alliance Airlines flying direct from Canberra to the Sunshine Coast and Cairns from October 23 and Link Airways flying direct from Canberra to Hobart from December 3.