Jetstar today commenced the first-ever commercial air service between Melbourne and Busselton, opening a new gateway into Western Australia that is set to boost the local tourism industry by allowing interstate visitors to fly directly to the South-West.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Tourism Minister Roger Cook joined dignitaries this morning to greet the A320 aircraft that made the historic first flight between Melbourne Airport and Busselton Margaret River Airport.
Direct flights will now run three times a week, providing a regular service that will unlock new opportunities for investment and job creation.
The State Government, through the South West Development Commission and Tourism WA, has worked closely with the City of Busselton to take the project from business case to development, and then to securing an airline service.
The significant State and local support underpinning the flight and for the upgrades to Busselton Margaret River Airport has already generated new business and employment opportunities, in addition to the millions of dollars spent locally during construction.
New jobs have been created through ground operations at the Busselton Margaret River Airport, including in security screening and baggage handling.
Car hire businesses will operate from the facility and other transport operators are also taking up opportunities to provide services, such as a coach line. A café/kiosk will also extend its hours of operation to cater for increased Jetstar passengers.
The State Government is also giving visitors another reason to explore the region with the South West Wanderer Pass.
The ‘Australia’s South West’ initiative offers visitors who book the new Melbourne-Busselton route a $100 credit towards participating tours, experiences and attractions around Margaret River and beyond.
This offer applies to new bookings made until November 30, 2022, unless sold out prior. Passes will be redeemable online through the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association until December 16, 2022.
Jetstar passengers into Busselton today received a warm welcome, receiving goodie bags locally coordinated by Australia’s South West and the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association that provided a taste of the extraordinary food and wine the region has to offer.
Busselton Margaret River Airport is designated as an alternative international airport and can cater for wide-body aircraft such as the Airbus A330 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The potential for freight is also being explored.
The project has also been supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Department of Transport and the Commonwealth Government.