Qantas axes Sydney flights despite extra marketing

UPDATE: A marketing campaign and the use of a smaller aircraft was not enough to make QantasLink's Sydney to Hervey Bay weekend route viable. 

The decision to cut the route comes despite the number of passengers travelling through Fraser Coast airports increasing in the past year. 

A Qantas spokeswoman said the company worked closely with Fraser Coast Regional Council and Fraser Coast Opportunities to promote the service over the past two years.

"We also put on smaller aircraft to try to make the route sustainable," she said.

"Our Brisbane-Hervey Bay service is doing really well and there's no changes to that service."

EARLIER: THE number of passengers travelling through Fraser Coast airports has increased in the past year, despite QantasLink's decision to cut a flight due to low numbers.

Aviation portfolio councillor Paul Truscott said the council had urged the airline to stay, but respected the company's decision.

"Our figures show that there has been an increase in passenger movements through the airport in the past year," he said.

"Council will continue to hold talks with airlines to encourage more services, or use of larger aircraft, but we understand that the final decision is up to the airlines as the routes have to be profitable for them.

"We value our relationships with both Qantas and Virgin and will continue to engage with the airlines to explore opportunities for increased services from Hervey Bay airport."

Passenger numbers through the Fraser Coast Airport have been on the rise since September last year.

"At the end of June there had been just under 189,000 passenger movements through the airport," Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft said.

"That is almost 8,000 more than last year and almost 25,000 more than the 2013/14 year."

Cr Loft said most of the increase was centred on people flying to Brisbane.

"There could be a number of factors at play here," Cr Loft said.

"More residents are commuting to Brisbane for services; more tourists are flying in from Brisbane and the region has missed some of the fallout from a drop in fly in fly out workers as mining activity has wound down."



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