Here’s an update on the Tasmanian air travel scene. Much as I don’t like Tiger their return would certainly help.
This story from The Mercury.
Summer flights on rise
EXTRA summer flights to Tasmania will help but what tourist operators really crave is competition from another player such as Tiger Airways, industry leader Luke Martin said yesterday.
From Thursday, Jetstar will add an extra daily Hobart-Melbourne service and three extra Melbourne-Launceston flights a week to cater for the summer peak.
Virgin Australia already has added six Brisbane-Launceston services a week, from December 12 to January 3, and 10 extra Melbourne-Hobart flights, from December 16 until January 8.
Jetstar Group chief commercial officer David Koczkar said the airline hoped its additional 3600 extra seats would trigger a summer tourism boom for Tasmania.
Mr Martin, the Tourism Council of Tasmania’s chief executive, said a return of Tiger Airways was Tasmania’s best hope for consistently cheaper fares.
Tiger has not flown to Hobart since it was grounded by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in early July.
Tiger Airways spokeswoman Vanessa Regan said the airline was still limited to 32 flights a day.
She could not say when, or if, the company would return to Tasmania.
Ms Regan said the airline was negotiating with jurisdictions and airports around Australia in anticipation of a return to unrestricted flying.
She said Tasmania had been a popular destination for Tiger.
Mr Koczkar said the latest Tourism Tasmania statistics showed domestic visitors spent on average $1703 per person when they holidayed on the island in the year ending June 2011.
“Based on the average tourist spend, these additional flights have the potential to deliver millions of dollars for the local economy,” he said.
Hobart Airport chief executive Rod Parry said the airlines had responded to market needs.
“We congratulate them on their response and look forward to further growth,” he said.
Mr Martin said the state’s tourist industry, government and airports needed to persuade airlines to continue extra flights beyond summer.