Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Business Goes Down as Flights Cut into Hervey Bay

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Business Goes Down as Flights Cut into Hervey Bay

Article excerpt

Byline: Jennifer Chapman

THREE months on and there is still no word on extra flights for Hervey Bay Airport.

The withdrawal of Jetstar services from the airport on July 31 continues to have a detrimental affect on the region.

One airport business owner is counting every penny after losing more than half his customers not only because of Jetstar's decision but also due to costly Virgin Blue tickets and limited free parking.

But there may be hope with the Fraser Coast Regional Council in discussions with other airlines.

"We are well aware that residents and businesses are not happy about Jetstar's withdrawal from Hervey Bay, and we as a council worked hard to prevent it happening, but the decision was Jetstar's," said councillor with the business development portfolio Barbara Hovard.

"However you can be assured that we have the welfare of our region and our businesses at heart and are in discussions with other airlines."

That might not be enough to comfort Hervey Bay Airport Cafe manager Len Norton though.

Mr Norton described Jetstar's affect on his business as disastrous.

"I thought our turnover would go down about half; it's gone down more than half," he said.

Jetstar was not only to blame for Mr Norton's lack of customers, he said, the lack of competition for Virgin Blue had led to a hike in prices that was forcing his customers to Maroochydore airport. On top of that the change in airport parking had meant people picking up passengers were not going into the airport and having a coffee while they waited; instead they stayed outside so they did not go over the free 30-minute time slot. …

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