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Friday, May 14, 2021

Tourism recovery takes off with Ballina Byron flights

While Queensland remains off limits for non-essential travel, holiday flights to the warmer climes of northern NSW are back on the cards for Canberrans seeking a winter escape.

Canberra Airport has today announced the commencement of direct flights between Canberra and Northern NSW, in partnership with the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport and regional airline, Fly Pelican.

From Friday 3 July, Fly Pelican will fly direct from Canberra Airport, with the launch price of flights starting from $229 one way. It is an opportunity to boost ACT and the regional economy and expand domestic travel to sought after destinations including Ballina, Byron Bay and Tweed Heads, according to Canberra Airport Head of Aviation, Michael Thomson. Mr Thomson said they welcome the new partnership with the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport.

“After months of disruption to the aviation and tourism industry, the Canberra to Ballina flight link will bring a much-needed boost to the local economies of both our regions. Domestic travel is slowly getting back to normal and Canberra Airport is determined to facilitate the recovery,” he said.

“Fly Pelican has been a long-time partner of Canberra Airport and we’re delighted to begin a new partnership with the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, so we can continue to bring a wider travel offering to Canberra.

“We want travellers to know that flying has never been safer and extensive measures have been put in place by Canberra Airport, Ballina Byron Gateway Airport and Fly Pelican to accommodate this.

“We are not yet back to full capacity, but with 90 flights per week linking Canberra with Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and Melbourne, there is a lot of opportunity for people to travel,” Mr Thomson said.

ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr is ready to welcome new visitors to the region to help boost the economy.

“These flights will provide a great opportunity to bring visitors to Canberra who may not have seen how much the city has changed and grown in the last decade. It also presents an exciting new option for Canberrans in need of a well-deserved break to take a short getaway,” said Mr Barr.

This comes after ongoing negotiations to re-establish links between Canberra and other closed states including South Australia and Queensland. The Canberra to Ballina link is a positive step in reopening other travel gateways across Australia and across the Tasman Sea.

A Ballina Byron Gateway Airport spokesperson said the new route will have a positive impact for the community.

“A key focus for us is to promote Northern Rivers NSW tourism to other parts of Australia so we’re thrilled to be working with Canberra Airport and airline partner Fly Pelican in having a brand new exciting destination and look forward to welcoming Canberra locals to our beautiful part of the world,” they said.

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