Canberrans can add another holiday destination to the list, with direct flights to Port Macquarie, on the NSW mid North Coast, launching from the Canberra Airport for the first time ever.
Regional airline, Fly Pelican already carry direct flights to Ballina-Byron Bay from the national capital and will commence flying to Port Macquarie from 1 November.
Canberra Airport head of aviation Michael Thomson welcomed the new route after a long partnership with the regional carrier.
“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.”
The news follows two other route announcements in recent weeks, with Link Airways flying direct to Hobart from December and a connecting route from Canberra to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and onto Cairns with Alliance Airlines.
Mr Thomson said recent announcements meant the doubling of flights leaving Canberra Airport as the business recovers from a 98% downturn in passengers since COVID-19 restrictions began in March.
“We are seeing a very positive return of aviation with flights increasing from 34 two weeks ago to 66 this week,” he said.
“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.”
Two flights per week will travel to Port Macquarie Airport, with a launch sale starting from $149 each way.
ACT Labor leader Andrew Barr said the flight announcements were key in restarting the local economy post COVID-19.
“Having a strong domestic network for Canberra will be critical in helping our local tourism industry recover over the coming months and years,” he said.
“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.”