New flights a boon for FNQ

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Skytrans lunches new regional flights. Image: Supplied.
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Skytrans has launched a staggering 43 new passenger flights per week across Far North Queensland, opening up the region to four exciting new routes and two new destinations.

From April 20 this year, Skytrans will provide 14 return flights per week between Cairns and Cooktown, five return flights per week between Cairns and Weipa, three one-way flights per week between Weipa and Horn Island and two one-way flights per week between Cooktown and Weipa.

And State Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui said it was fantastic news for Cooktown, and communities on the Cape and Horn Island.

“Affordable flights and more options to travel are critical for helping residents to access work, health appointments and other services. 

“Our remote communities depend on reliable transport, so Skytrans’ plan to run new airliner services between Cooktown, Weipa and Horn Island is a welcome investment in Far North Queensland,” she said.
   
Skytrans Chief Executive Officer Tim Healee said the expansion will transform travel from both North and South of the Cape and it’s the first time a high capacity airline would service the residents of Cooktown.

“Feedback from businesses and the travelling public was very clear; our customers want to travel to Cooktown and Weipa with the comfort of an airliner instead of a small single-engine plane, so that’s exactly what we will be doing,” Mr Healee said.

“It’s time to bring a real airline service to Cooktown and that’s just what our passengers will get; our Dash 8 aircraft offers inflight services and toilet facilities together with our air-conditioned cabin and cargo capacity.

“This is a massive win for these towns and we are very excited to expand our network in the Cape. It further demonstrates our commitment to Far North Queensland.”

The launch also heralds a new era for Skytrans as it’s the first time the airline has offered direct passenger flights to Weipa from Cairns. The new Cooktown to Weipa and Weipa to Horn Island services are not currently serviced by any other airline. 

Skytrans co-owner, NRL legend Johnathan Thurston said the airfares between Cairns and Cooktown will kick off with fantastic fares, starting at $135 each way while fares between Weipa and Cairns will start from $195 one-way.

“The larger legacy airlines have ignored the needs of regional Queensland for too long but we are listening and want to connect communities,” JT said.

“These new routes will really open up opportunities for jobs, tourism and even health care because residents will finally be able to access a flight to get them where they need to go.”

Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer Norris Carter welcomed the new Skytrans flights.

“Cairns Airport serves a vast catchment area that extends all the way up to the Gulf and the Torres Strait. We’re delighted to see Skytrans, the region’s home carrier, expand their flights from Cairns Airport, the hub for regional, national and international connectivity,” Mr Carter said.

Mr Healee said Skytrans would continue to assess market conditions and opportunities across Queensland as the company looks to become a major player in the regional airline market.


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