If political leaders needed any further proof of just how hard the COVID crisis has impacted the Gold Coast, they need only take a look at the city’s airport today.
The once-bustling hub was effectively closed on Tuesday with not a single commercial passenger flight into the Gold Coast. Not one.
It’s the first time that has happened in a year.
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After a horror 2020, things had picked up earlier this year with the airport operating at around 80 per cent of pre-COVID capacity.
But then lockdowns in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide saw the situation take a turn for the worst with passenger numbers last month plunging to around 10 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
The suspension of the Trans-Tasman travel bubble has also taken its toll.
Tourism bosses say the fact there are no flights coming into the Gold Coast is heartbreaking.
“What this is is a picture of what we’re dealing with at the moment,” Destination Gold CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said.
“People are unable to move they’re unable to travel and that is where we need the support of governments to get us through this.
“For some of our operators, they’re saying that these conditions are even worse than when the pandemic commenced because when the pandemic commenced there were a range of different measures whereas now they’re feeling quite alone.”