WHITSUNDAY Coast Airport (WCA) has stamped itself as one of the fastest growing regional airports in Australia with the highest annual passenger numbers in its 71-year history.
A record 477,328 passengers passed through the airport in the 2022-23 financial year, which was higher than the previous record of 469,000, set in 2018-19.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Julie Hall said the record numbers were testament to the amazing efforts of the airport team.
“Our airport just continues to smash records, and this can be attributed to a variety of factors, including increased flight frequencies, expanded routes, and strategic partnerships with airlines,” she said.
“None of this happens without our airport team establishing strong relationships with multiple airlines.
“These relationships have allowed us to deliver a fast-expanding network of destinations that make connectivity easy for travellers to visit the amazing Whitsundays.
“It is great to celebrate this milestone, but the airport team also recognises the ongoing responsibility we have to continue to invest in infrastructure that ensures WCA remains an award-winning regional airport with a reputation for providing excellent facilities, services, and connectivity for both leisure and business travellers.”
Whitsunday Coast Airport currently boasts direct flights to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, the Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Newcastle and Toowoomba, but Chief Operating Officer Craig Turner hinted two new routes will be added before the end of 2023.
“It is important we be proactive in taking every opportunity to explore new routes that would instantly boost the Whitsunday region’s economy,” Mr Turner said.
“I am in the final stages of talks with an airline partner to commence flights direct from the Gold Coast to Whitsundays.
“This will be a huge breakthrough for our region, as it opens a direct flight route for the 1.2m people who in live in the Gold Coast region….and also provides connectivity for the millions of international and domestic tourists who transit via the Gold Coast for their holidays.
“The good news does not stop there, with my team also close to sealing a deal for a groundbreaking interstate destination that expands our routes beyond our current east coast network.”