Toowoomba versus Brisbane our new choice
WAGNERS chairman John Wagner says interest among Ipswich people in the new airport is set to soar.
"The surveys we've done indicate the people of Ipswich are looking at Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport with interest," Mr Wagner said.
"We believe we will get a strong contingent of travellers using the airport and we have already had indications from the Department of Defence at Amberley suggesting our airport will be a lot closer for residents than Brisbane Airport."
He said the initial target for his airport was Toowoomba and surrounding shires but Ipswich was coming more and more onto the radar.
"Once the second range crossing is built within the next three years it will be a 50-minute drive to Wellcamp Airport from the Ipswich CBD," he said.
"I would strongly suggest the airport usage by Ipswich residents will increase after that. We would expect the type of travellers will be business and VFR (visiting friends and relatives).
"As the QantasLink services increase, a vast array of options will be part of the development of the Wellcamp services and that will be up to Qantas to see how the demand unfolds."
Mr Wagner said he was confident of a long-term relationship with QantasLink given the demand from business and leisure travel to and from Toowoomba.
"I speak on behalf of Wagners' four shareholders, Joe, Denis, Neill and myself when I say that we always knew a major airline would see the potential of servicing south-west Queensland," he said
QantasLink chief executive officer John Gissing said he was delighted to offer customers flights to the country's newest airport.
"Qantas' history began in Queensland over 94 years ago, so we're delighted to be part of this important milestone in Queensland's history," Mr Gissing said.
"QantasLink customers travelling to and from Brisbane West Wellcamp will enjoy our exceptional product and service on board our Q400 aircraft, as well as seamless connections to domestic and international Qantas services."
The BWWA catchment area is the 11th largest in Australia with a population of more than 344,000 people.
The catchment includes most of south-western Queensland from Ipswich in the east, Kingaroy to the north, west to Miles and south to Goondiwindi and Tenterfield.
BWWA will also open up domestic and international export opportunities for local producers of grain, cotton, beef, dairy, pork and chicken, horticulture production and fruit and vegetables. Approved by the Toowoomba Regional Council late last year, construction of the BWWA terminal began in January.
To celebrate the launch of the new services, QantasLink will offer $99 one-way fares until Friday for travel between November and June 30, 2015.
Other special QantasLink launch fares connecting via Sydney from Wellcamp include Melbourne from $179 one way, Adelaide and Hobart from $199 one way and Perth from $259 one way.