Tourism boom as Gold Coast flights drive airlines’ recovery

A new report has found flights to and from the Gold Coast have had the strongest recovery in the whole country as tourists flock back to the Glitter Strip.

According to the ACCC, April saw Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin and Rex all record their highest number of passengers since the start of the pandemic.

More than 4.5 million passengers flew domestically in April, which is at 89 per cent of pre-COVID levels.


The Gold Coast route had the best bounce-back compared to passenger numbers prior to the pandemic with the Easter and ANZAC day long weekends proving to be a major bonus for the city’s tourism industry.

The top five routes in terms of recovery were all to the Gold Coast.

There were 234,000 passengers that flew between Sydney and the Gold Coast in April, which was 103 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

Melbourne-Gold Coast flights were at 126 per cent of pre-COVID levels with 222,000 passengers.

The ‘golden triangle’ of Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne was still the busiest of all routes in Australia in April.

But Gold Coast-Sydney and Gold Coast-Melbourne were the next busiest, making up 10 per cent of all domestic passengers.

There was also a strong recovery on Gold Coast-Canberra flights which were at 193 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, Gold Coast-Adelaide which were at 125 per cent and Gold Coast-Avalon which were at 93 per cent.

The ACCC report found cheap airfares have helped drive the domestic aviation recovery but that airfares have likely bottomed out as soaring fuel prices send prices higher.