Eye of Tiger misses Townsville – TravelMole true

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Eye of Tiger misses Townsville

Wednesday, 10 Jul, 2007 0

The Townsville Bulletin says that while Tiger Airways announced its new range of cut-price fares yesterday, with direct routes from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, Rockhampton and Mackay, starting in November, it did miss out Townsville, which has been lobbying for the airline to offer flights to and from the twin cities for months.

Mundingburra MP Lindy Nelson-Carr said the announcement was disappointing, adding, “It’s hard to fathom why the airline would choose Rockhampton and Mackay and ignore their two biggest potential markets in Queensland outside Brisbane and the Gold Coast, namely Townsville and Cairns.”

“Hopefully this is just a minor blip on their radar and when more Tiger aircraft come into service Townsville will be one of the next cities in line for Melbourne flights and a dirt-cheap fare battle, no matter how temporary, with Jetstar.”

Tiger spokesman Tony Rasman said the company still had Townsville in its sights, adding, “It’s not being ruled out”, “Just because it’s not in the first phase of a whole national roll out of the network, doesn’t mean it’s not in the plans.”

“It’s just not in the first series of announcements, that’s all.”

Herbert MP Peter Lindsay, who with Townsville Enterprise had been holding discussions with Tiger executives to push for direct flights between Darwin and Townsville, said negotiations would continue, adding, “I continue to tell them that almost every day there is almost not a single seat in or out of Townsville.”

“The existing services are chock-a-block.”

“I’m confident that Townsville won’t miss out on a Tiger service in due course.”

Before Tiger announced its new Queensland routes yesterday, Jetstar offered a limited number of seats from the Gold Coast to Melbourne for $1 next February.

Mr Lindsay said he respected the air carrier’s needs for commercial confidentiality, if it did not automatically reveal its further plans for regional routes.

“I do think with the market that is here, they won’t be able to ignore Townsville,” he said.

Townsville Enterprise Limited CEO Glenys Schuntner said she was still hopeful Townsville could be included in future bids.

“Tiger has been announcing routes bit by bit and keeping the information close to their chest,” Ms Schuntner said.

“We believe Townsville still has a very strong business case.

“Given the size of the population of Townsville compared with Rockhampton and Mackay and our growth in tourism, we believe we have a good chance.”

Ms Schuntner said Townsville still had its eye on Tiger or any other airline which could offer a direct route from Townsville to Darwin which would open the region up to more international tourists.

Report by The Mole


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