Melbourne direct flights are here to stay: Jetgo
DIRECT flights between Melbourne and Hervey Bay are here to stay and more could be on the way if there is demand.
Regional airline Jetgo has confirmed the flight path between Hervey Bay and Melbourne is not a temporary trial.
It comes amidst concerns the new route could end with the same fate as previous airport services to Sydney by Qantas and Virgin.
Jetgo managing director airlines Paul Bredereck told the Chronicle the Melbourne flights would be a fixed route at the Hervey Bay airport, saying it was not company policy to start any new routes as a trial.
"We wouldn't be investing that kind of money in a new route if we didn't think the demand was there," Mr Bredereck said.
"When the demand warrants it, we could expand the service and potentially add more.
"But the theoretical market is there for the service we're proposing."
The airline made the announcement on Tuesday with flights to Melbourne running on Fridays and Sundays from July 21.
Additional services to Brisbane will also be launched, with one return flight being offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Mr Bredereck said the service would likely expand if the demand exceeded their expectations.
"The indication is that there is underlying demand for the flights... we've had dozens of enquiries from the community asking for details of the new flights," he said.
"There was a range of investment criteria when looking at the service - the strength of the local economy, the demand for travel, and the size and demographics of the community.
"The markets and routes are not too big or small in this case... (and) there's family connections, which show a demand from point to point."
The announcement of the new service connecting the travel bridge between the culture hub and the Whale City was met with praise from the community.
Some expat Melburnians were overjoyed at the thought of visiting family and friends down south.
Aviation councillor Paul Truscott said the Fraser Coast Council would continue to support existing services at the airport.
"It is a boost in confidence for the Fraser Coast and it means that there is more opportunity for people to see the potential of growth in our region," Cr Truscott said.
"Council continues to work with airlines to explore further opportunities for growth and this will be developed further ."