TIME IS ON OUR SIDE

Re­port ranks Cairns Air­port as most punc­tual in Aus­tralia

The Weekend Post - - Front Page - CHRIS CALCINO

CAIRNS Air­port has been rated the most punc­tual in Aus­tralia and New Zea­land.

Cairns has topped OAG's 2019 Punc­tu­al­ity League, which said 83.7 per cent of flights at the air­port were cat­e­gorised as on-time, ahead of Ade­laide, sec­ond, and third-placed Bris­bane.

leased its Punc­tu­al­ity League win­ners list for 2019 and the num­bers could not be bet­ter for Cairns Air­port.

It was named the most punc­tual air­port in Aus­tralia and New Zea­land last year, with a whop­ping 83.7 per cent of flights run­ning on time.

Cairns also made the top 10 list for small air­ports any­where in the world, a field taken out by Be­laru­sian cap­i­tal Minsk.

Hong Kong Air­lines pro­vided the most on-the-clock ser­vice in the Asia-Pa­cific, fol­lowed by Hong Kong Air­ways and Qan­tas in third place.

Cairns Air­port chief op­er­a­tions man­ager Kate McCreery-Carr said the hon­our was tes­ta­ment to the hard work of the ter­mi­nal staff, air­lines and ground crew.

“Be­sides safety and se­cu­rity, it is our next top pri­or­ity,” she said.

“It’s by no means some­thing we do in iso­la­tion.

“We need to have the fa­cil­i­ties – check-in, se­cu­rity screen­ing and ev­ery­thing else – all re­sourced cor­rectly, and en- sure the avail­abil­ity of bays and gates.”

Ms McCreery-Carr said a planned $55 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment of the do­mes­tic ter­mi­nal, due by 2020, would fur­ther stream­line the process.

“At the mo­ment we have con­ges­tion at gates at some times of the day,” she said.

“We in­tend to re­con­fig­ure CAIRNS lo­cals are tak­ing hol­i­days without leav­ing their home­town with one tourism op­er­a­tor re­port­ing a no­tice­able spike in do­mes­tic vis­i­tors over sum­mer.

Clifton Beach res­i­dent Abbey Hastie chose to spend her break at the Cairns Co­conut Re­sort at Woree rather than ven­ture down south.

“I don’t like to travel too far and ev­ery­thing we need is right here in par­adise,” she said.

The park, bought by ASXlisted tourism giant In­ge­nia Hol­i­days for $50 mil­lion in 2017, has ex­pe­ri­enced a surge in last-minute lo­cal book­ings for Jan­uary.

Re­sort man­ager Richard Yazbeck said the busi­ness was boom­ing.

“Since the last week of school, we’ve seen a num­ber of lo­cal fam­i­lies from the Table­lands area and Townsville re­gion phon­ing up at the last­minute be­cause they’ve left bud­get­ing late for the sum­mer hol­i­days,” he said.

“We’ve also re­ceived calls from empty nesters and grey no­mads who are on the road for the hol­i­days and are look­ing to book a car­a­van site or villa for a cou­ple of nights.

“We have the ca­pac­ity to ac­com­mo­date ap­prox­i­mately 1300 peo­ple with 220 car­a­van sites and have 135 fully equipped vil­las.” the ter­mi­nal to give more seat­ing at the gates and re­de­ploy re­tail stores at other places.

“It’s just putting things in the right place.”

News of the top punc­tu­al­ity rank­ing was very well re­ceived by air­port man­age­ment.

“This is our kind of win – a col­lec­tive win,” Ms McCreeryCarr said.

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