LATEST statistics released by Council have revealed passenger numbers at Port Macquarie Airport are continuing to rise with passenger numbers for the start of the year increasing by 7.6% on the corresponding period last year.
A record 20,284 passengers were recorded at the Airport in March, and forecasts suggest the Airport’s popularity will only continue to increase.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Director of Corporate and Business Services Craig Swift-McNair said the latest figures were a direct result of the introduction of the Virgin Australia services to Brisbane using the new 68-seat ATR72 aircraft.
“Council is delighted to see the continued growth in air services and passenger numbers at Port Macquarie Airport,” Mr Swift-McNair said.
“The introduction of the new services provides the local community with up to 53 flights per week connecting Port Macquarie with direct services to Sydney, Brisbane and Lord Howe Island (seasonal), and with onward connections across the domestic and international airline networks.
“The latest passenger statistics reflect the strong tourism visitor numbers seen throughout the January holiday period and the benefit of Port Macquarie’s growing event calendar including sporting events like the National Touch League competition held in early March.”
Mr Swift-McNair said the recent figures proved the success of Council’s participation in a cooperative tourism marketing campaign with Virgin Australia last October, coinciding with the announcement of the new Brisbane service.
“The campaign raised awareness of the new Brisbane-Port Macquarie route and promoted Port Macquarie as a desirable leisure destination to more than 351,000 Brisbane consumers,” Mr Swift-McNair said.
The Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo held in Melbourne in February this year provided another opportunity for Council to promote the flourishing service.
“Ease of access to any destination vying for this type of business is a major plus when speaking to event planners. As a direct result of the new Brisbane flights to Port Macquarie, Council has been able to secure strong leads into the Brisbane meetings market ” Mr Swift-McNair said.