The Gold Coast Airport is expecting nearly double the number of passenger arrivals in time for Easter.
Due to the federal government’s half-priced airfare package and the vaccine rollout, the airport’s capacity could return to pre-Covid levels.
Current predictions show return flights to return to around 50 a day in time for Easter.
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It comes after another slow month, with February figures showing improvement, but still way down on where they used to be.
Over the month, there were 159,533 passengers or 65 per cent fewer than the year before flying in and out of Gold Coast Airport.
The Sydney route became the airport’s busiest during the month once again after the Queensland border reopened to travellers from greater Sydney on 1 February.
But Melbourne and Perth travellers were unable to enter Queensland for about half the month, reducing flight and passenger numbers on both routes.
QAL CEO Chris Mills says once the government’s flight sale gets underway, the Gold Coast is in for great things.
“While further travel restrictions in February dampened passenger numbers, we entered March with borders open across Australia and our full domestic network connections restored for Gold Coast Airport.
“With demand building, we are seeing airlines load significant additional capacity for the Easter period and beyond.
“As Australians become more confident that our state borders will remain open, we will see very strong growth – and Gold Coast is at the top of the wish list for travellers,” Mr Mills said.
It comes as the end of the federal government’s JobKeeper package looms, with the support to be turned off from April.
The federal tourism minister is hopeful that domestic tourism will be able to fill that gap, but businesses disagree.
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Mr Mills says that the vaccine rollout is also boosting traveller confidence and will go a long way to help, but we need to turn our attention over to international travel as soon as possible.
“The conversation needs to progress now on international travel so that we can be ready to re-open our border at the right time, in line with the rest of the world,” he said.