Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Whit­sun­day Coast Air­port is set to achieve its best re­sult on record in the 2014-15 fi­nan­cial year with pas­sen­ger num­bers fore­cast to be their high­est yet.

Whit­sun­day Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney said the air­port was fore­cast to ex­pe­ri­ence a 10 per cent growth dur­ing the 2014-15 fi­nan­cial year, re­sult­ing in a to­tal di­rect tourism in­dus­try con­tri­bu­tion by in­bound pas­sen­gers of about $200 mil­lion.

“Th­ese pas­sen­ger num­ber fore­casts for 2014-15 ex­ceed pas­sen­ger num­bers from be­fore the Global Fi­nan­cial Cri­sis, show­ing in­creased con­fi­dence and growth in the lo­cal tourism in­dus­try,” she said.

Cr Whit­ney said th­ese fore­casts fol­lowed a very suc­cess­ful 2013-14 year, where the air­port ex­pe­ri­enced an in­crease in car­ri­ers, flights and pas­sen­gers.

She said the air­port achieved a four per cent in­crease in pas­sen­ger num­bers for the 2013-14 fi­nan­cial year, with a 20 per cent growth in pas­sen­ger num­bers over the past three years.

“The Whit­sun­day Coast Air­port ex­pe­ri­enced con­tin­ual growth in what con­tin­ues to be a chal­leng­ing avi­a­tion mar­ket across Aus­tralia. The air­port’s di­rect con­tri­bu­tion to the tourism in­dus­try via in­bound pas­sen­ger spend for the 2013-14 year is just un­der $180 mil­lion, this has grown from $150 mil­lion in the 201011 fi­nan­cial year,” she said.

Ac­tual pas­sen­ger num­bers to­talled 243,795 for 2013-14, with to­tal avail­able seats be­ing 320,099, cre­at­ing an av­er­age flight load fac­tor for the air­port of 76 per cent.

Cr Whit­ney said it was an­tic­i­pated that this would be im­proved markedly through the next year, with pas­sen­ger num­bers fore­cast to be between 270,000 and 280,000.

“Whit­sun­day Coast Air­port staff, air­line part­ners and ground crew are to be con­grat­u­lated for their on­go­ing suc­cess in build­ing the air­ports ca­pac­ity,” she said.

Photo by Deb­bie Savy / Tropix Pho­tog­ra­phy.

BEST RE­SULT YET: The Whit­sun­day Coast Air­port is set to achieve its best re­sult on record in the 2014-15 fi­nan­cial year.

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