Fight for business-friendly flights heats up
SUNSHINE Coast Airport is mounting a case to persuade airlines to introduce more business-friendly flights to Sydney and Melbourne.
Airport general manager Peter Pallot has called on residents to complete a short survey to vocalise their needs and wants for flight schedules.
Mr Pallot believes more early morning and evening flights, to Sydney in particular, will alleviate congestion on the Bruce Hwy and allow business workers to fly to their destination and be back in one day.
"The results from this survey will provide crucial data and contribute towards a business case to secure much-needed business-friendly flights for the region," Mr Pallot said.
"Business travellers are forced to take early morning flights from Brisbane airport due to lack of schedules.
"Business travellers understand the extra time spent travelling the Bruce Hwy, additional costs of transport to, or parking at, Brisbane Airport, as well as the frustrations of having to stay overnight in Sydney or other capital cities.''
While the ultimate decision on scheduling rests with the airlines, Mr Pallot said improved flight services would always be a priority.
Currently, Jetstar flights to Sydney depart at 11am, 3.20pm and 6.40pm, while the only Virgin flight to Sydney leaves at 1.15pm.
Sunshine Coast Chambers of Commerce Alliance chair Michael Shadforth said changes to flight scheduling were crucial for the longevity of the Coast economy.
"The time for more business-friendly flights is now," Mr Shadforth said.
"To have flights which time better with business would improve our economy both ways.
"We could have people moving here, enjoying the Sunshine Coast lifestyle, setting up their business here, while knowing access to the strategic markets is easy.''
Real estate agent Danny Redman travelled to Sydney yesterday on the 1.15pm flight.
"It would be great to have that early morning option," Mr Redman said.
"We often have to take days either side of conferences or training to make it work."
Take the three-minute survey here.