It is the only direct air service between the two destinations and the three weekly return flights will run every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, bringing an additional 56,000 visitors through the airport every year.

“We have witnessed overwhelming demand from both leisure and budget travellers wanting to gain easy access to Airlie Beach and surrounding areas and today’s Sydney – Whitsunday Coast route launch is in direct response to consumer demand,” Tigerair Australia CEO Rob Sharp said in a statement. “As the only direct air service between Sydney and Whitsunday Coast, this is a coup for leisure and budget travellers and the all-important backpacker market. Our fares have been proven to stimulate markets and we look forward to working with the Whitsundays regional council and community to provide a much needed boost to local tourism. We’re confident local residents will welcome the direct flights to Sydney as well.”

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Cr Jennifer Whitney was on the inaugural flight and said that the Council has worked in partnership with Tigerair to secure this new direct route, which the region had been “crying out for”.

“The Whitsunday region has been crying out for direct flights from major cities other than Brisbane and the opening up of the Sydney route is the beginning of an exciting future for the Whitsunday Coast Airport,” she said.

To celebrate the new route, the airline is putting on a special launch day sale for 24 hours.

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