- Inaugural Jetstar flight between Melbourne and Busselton touches down
- South-West now linked directly to the east coast with regular flights
- New route passengers can register for the South West Wanderer Pass - an exclusive $100 travel experience credit
- New jobs and business opportunities unlocked with game-changing new air service
- State and local financial support for the air service over the next three years has paved the way for further investment and job creation
Jetstar today commenced the first-ever commercial air service between Melbourne and Busselton, opening a new gateway into Western Australia that is set to boost the local tourism industry by allowing interstate visitors to fly directly to the South-West.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Tourism Minister Roger Cook joined dignitaries this morning to greet the A320 aircraft that made the historic first flight between Melbourne Airport and Busselton Margaret River Airport.
Direct flights will now run three times a week, providing a regular service that will unlock new opportunities for investment and job creation.
The McGowan Government, through the South West Development Commission and Tourism WA, has worked closely with the City of Busselton to take the project from business case to development, and then to securing an airline service.
The significant State and local support underpinning the flight and for the upgrades to Busselton Margaret River Airport has already generated new business and employment opportunities, in addition to the millions of dollars spent locally during construction.
New jobs have been created through ground operations at the Busselton Margaret River Airport, including in security screening and baggage handling.
Car hire businesses will operate from the facility and other transport operators are also taking up opportunities to provide services, such as a coach line. A café/kiosk will also extend its hours of operation to cater for increased Jetstar passengers.
The McGowan Government is also giving visitors another reason to explore the region with the South West Wanderer Pass.
The 'Australia's South West' initiative offers visitors who book the new Melbourne-Busselton route a $100 credit towards participating tours, experiences and attractions around Margaret River and beyond.
This offer applies to new bookings made until November 30, 2022, unless sold out prior. Passes will be redeemable online through the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association until December 16, 2022.
Jetstar passengers into Busselton today received a warm welcome, receiving goodie bags locally coordinated by Australia's South West and the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association that provided a taste of the extraordinary food and wine the region has to offer.
Busselton Margaret River Airport is designated as an alternative international airport and can cater for wide-body aircraft such as the Airbus A330 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The potential for freight is also being explored.
The project has also been supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Department of Transport and the Commonwealth Government.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The arrival of the first Jetstar flight in Busselton is a momentous day for the city, the Margaret River region and the entire South-West, particularly tourism operators.
"For the first time, passengers can fly directly from the east coast into the South-West region and enjoy the extraordinary experiences on offer in one of the most visited parts of our State.
"Now that interstate travellers can access the internationally-renowned Margaret River region directly, we can expect the South-West to be even more attractive as a holiday destination."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"This first flight may have taken just hours, but it was years in the making. Then COVID-19 has added delays.
"However, I am sure everyone will find the launch of this new air passenger service worth the wait.
"This is a game-changer for the local tourism sector, opening up a new market for the industry, creating business opportunities and assisting in recovery from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I would like to congratulate all those involved in making this new route a reality. This truly is a great example of what can be achieved when government and industry work together."
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Roger Cook:
"The introduction of the Melbourne-Busselton route will provide a welcome boost to tourism operators, particularly in our spectacular South-West region.
"The State Government is also proud to support the South West Wanderer Pass, which will give visitors another reason to wander out yonder and experience the stunning coastline, famous food and wine, finest art and culture, and ancient Aboriginal history of the region.
"The pass supports and promotes a number of South-West tourism operators, providing a welcome boost as WA continues to welcome back out-of-State visitors."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
Tourism Minister's office - 6552 6500