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Virgin Australia will resume direct Adelaide-Sunshine Coast services in what will now become a year-round service launching just in time for the busy Christmas period.

The Adelaide to Sunshine Coast service has been supported by the Queensland Government and will commence from 14 December, operating four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday) providing up to 1,408 seats a week between the two destinations.

With the service extended to become year-round, this major capacity boost will deliver more than 73,000 seats a year and will be operated by a 176 seat Boeing 737 jet.

“Virgin Australia is really pleased to re-introduce services between Adelaide and the Sunshine Coast. Today’s announcement will mean up to 5,632 additional passengers can head back to the skies this summer,” said Mr Hartley.

“We’re proud to be supporting local communities, including the hundreds of tourism operators, hospitality venues and business owners on the Sunshine Coast and in South Australia who depend on tourism and who have done it tough through the pandemic.

“To celebrate, Virgin Australia is offering passengers one-way fares between Adelaide and the Sunshine Coast from as low as $79*, so more families can now have a swim at Noosa or a surf at Marcoola, or explore Adelaide’s Central Market or catch a game of cricket at the Adelaide Oval.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe welcomed Virgin’s direct flights from Adelaide: “Virgin’s new schedule is perfect for endless Queensland summers on the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“We know after a long winter, South Australians crave a holiday in the tropical sun.

“With direct flights at great prices, this is the perfect time for South Australians to start planning for a dream holiday experience.

“Virgin’s flights will also add extra holiday cheer for Sunshine Coast tourism operators including hotels, restaurants and visitor experiences after a tough pandemic year.”

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO, Andrew Brodie, said he was thrilled to welcome the Virgin service back and praised the carrier’s decision to extend the route to become year-round.

“We’re looking forward to connecting more passengers between Sunshine Coast and Adelaide each week, and the decision from Virgin to extend the route year-round is a strong vote confidence in our region for both leisure and business travel,” Mr Brodie said.

“These Virgin services provide more choice and frequency for passengers, and we believe by building more connections like these our region will emerge strongly from the effects of COVID-19.

“For South Australians, the appeal of our beaches, hinterland and fresh produce is sure to attract southerners in both peak and shoulder holiday seasons.”

Mr. Brodie added today’s announcement was welcome news for the local tourism industry and business community.

“We know local businesses have been doing it tough in a challenging operating environment in recent months, however we expect these services will be really popular with high-value travellers who stay longer and spend more which will be a welcome boost to many of our tourism businesses”.

Tourism Noosa’s CEO Melanie Anderson said “Virgin’s announcement of direct flights to Adelaide year-round is great news for our region and the commencement of this in mid-December is perfect timing for welcoming visitors to our region over the Summer season”.

Matt Stoeckel, CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast said today’s news was another step towards boosting visitation and would assist with the vital recovery of the Sunshine Coast tourism industry as it continues to navigate through COVID-19.

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