Meet the Fokkers! Mayor says use new airline or lose it
ALLIANCE Airlines' first Fokker 70 jet touched down in Bundaberg this afternoon.
The flight from Brisbane took just over 30 minutes, but the airline's CEO Lee Schofield is hoping to better that time in the coming weeks.
The CEO and general manager Shane Edwards were the first two off the plane and were greeted by Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey on the tarmac.
Cr Dempsey welcomed the duo and Alliance to Bundaberg saying they were an important part of the continued prosperity of the airport and region.
Cr Dempsey said now was the time for Bundaberg travellers to get behind the airline to keep competition alive in the region.
Mr Schofield echoed those sentiments, saying if the airline was to be a success Bundaberg people needed to get behind it.
"It is a Bundaberg, Brisbane and beyond sector rather than the other way around," Mr Schofield said.
"If we are going to be a success it's not going to be from the Brisbane end, it's going to be from the people from this end, Bundaberg."
Cr Dempsey said he hoped Alliance would grow routes and services to Bundaberg, the jewel in the crown of Wide Bay.
But the only way that can happen is to get the Bundaberg to Brisbane route "permanent and stable".
"And we can only do that by putting bums on seats," Cr Dempsey said.
"I ask everyone here to tell their 10,000 closest mates."
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett, the man who first highlighted the possible loss of airline competition in Bundaberg, said Alliance arriving was good news.
"I warmly welcome Alliance Airlines' jet service to Bundaberg, operating in co-operation with Virgin Australia," Mr Bennett said.
"The opportunities that this new jet service presents to our community are exciting.
"It's great to see that Alliance Airlines has shown confidence in the Bundaberg region and there is real potential for future expansions.
"Competition is essential for the future prosperity of our region's air travel," he said.
Alliance's entry to the market has already cut costs with the airline announcing $59 fares and everyone who flew out of Bundaberg on the inaugural flight got a free return ticket.