in Tigerair flights had made it “a lot harder for people to fly in and out”.
“There just doesn’t seem to be enough flights and it seems to be making it hard for people to come and go. It should be made simple,” Ms Jones said.
Fish D’vine co-owner Kevin Collins agreed there was “no doubt” additional flights would entice more “affluent high spending customers”.
“The additional flights, when cancelled, were noticed because it was passengers who would stay four or five nights,” Mr Collins said.
“And they’re more inclined to go out every night and go on a cruise every day.
Mr Collins said it had been “quieter” recently but May and June were traditionally slow months for business.
“Last year was a bit of an anomaly because of the cyclone,” he said.
“Last year, for those who were open, it was a pretty good year and this year it is back to a normal May/June pattern.”
He said businesses could panic around this time of year, but by July he expected visitor numbers would increase with events across the region.
“I say to staff, ‘Don’t worry about the customers you haven’t got, worry about the ones you do. Make sure they have a great time and go away really happy,” Mr Collins said.
“As soon as you get sucked into the negative mentality it rubs off, then you really will be struggling.”
A Tigerair Australia spokesperson said this week the airline was committed to providing budget air travel across its domestic network.
“We regularly review our flight network and schedule to ensure that it is closely aligned with market dynamics, customer demand and operational requirements,” she said. GENERAL Manager of Whitsunday Airports and Commercial Infrastructure Brian Joiner said this week that despite Tigerair suspending their Brisbane flights, passenger numbers for the first five months of this year were still higher than the first five months of last year.
Mr Joiner said that for the first five months of this year, numbers had reached 186,537, while for the same period last year numbers stood at 140,486.
Based on current forecasts, he said, passenger numbers for the whole of this year were expected to be 10-15 per cent higher than 2017.
He said a business case for the Cairns route had been discussed with several airlines.
“Although it was received positively, the airlines all have issues with aircraft availability and pilot numbers. Discussions are ongoing in regards to this route development.”
In relation to the suspension of flights from the Whitsunday Coast Airport to Brisbane in February, a Tigerair spokesperson said the airline did not have plans to reinstate the Brisbane-Whitsunday services, but would continue to monitor the route.
“Tigerair currently operates six return services per week to the Whitsundays from Sydney and we are proud to provide affordable and reliable services to the Whitsunday community,” she said.
In February this year, Tourism Minister Kate Jones said Tigerair’s announcement was “a bit of a kick in the guts” for the region battling to recover from Cyclone Debbie.
MAIN STREET: Airlie Beach business is hopeful a “quite” trading peroid will be short lived.
ON BOARD: The first Tigerair flight direct from Brisbane to the Whitsundays. The service has since been cut.