Jetstar launches Busselton to Melbourne flights with fare sale

Sophie ElliottBusselton Dunsborough Times
Forrest MP Nola Marino, Jetstar Group chief executive officer Gareth Evans, State Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley celebrate the announcement.
Camera IconForrest MP Nola Marino, Jetstar Group chief executive officer Gareth Evans, State Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley celebrate the announcement.

Jetstar has launched its Busselton to Melbourne service with a five-day fare sale, offering passengers one-way tickets for just $89.

The first flight will take off on March 25, making the low-cost carrier the first airline to link the east coast of Australia and the Margaret River region.

Direct flights from Melbourne to Busselton will operate Monday, Wednesday and Saturday with more than 1100 seats available weekly.

The new service is predicted to contribute more than $40 million to the WA economy over the next three years, with more than 60,000 visitors in that time.

Jetstar Group chief executive officer Gareth Evans said the airline expected strong demand from Melbournians wanting to explore the destination.

“Direct flights from Melbourne will save east coast customers the three-hour drive from Perth, putting the destination within easy reach for a short break away,” he said.

“And for residents in the South West it will open up the possibility of a mini break on the east coast with direct access to the sports, culture and extensive shopping on offer in Melbourne.”

The news is a huge breakthrough for the City of Busselton and its Busselton Margaret River Airport project.

Negotiations with Jetstar had been approaching two years and there had been much speculation about incentives offered by the City to secure the deal.

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said while the Busselton Margaret River Airport upgrade project had met many milestones since planning commenced in 2010, securing a regular passenger transport service to the facility was particularly exciting.

“This new and direct route to Melbourne opens up a world of possibilities for local, national and international travellers and will generate income and create jobs in tourism and tourism related industries across the South West and the State more broadly,” he said.

The deal will not be the catalyst to building a new passenger terminal at the airport but has sparked demands from Vasse MLA Libby Mettam and Warren-Blackwood MLA Terry Redman for the State Government to follow through on its original promise.

At today’s announcement, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the State Government would invest $3.265 million to upgrade terminal infrastructure to allow Jetstar’s air service to begin in March.

“Having a direct route trial into the South West from the Eastern States could be a game-changer that will benefit the entire region, opening up new markets and providing a platform for new business development and jobs creation,” she said.

Forrest MHR Nola Marino welcomed the announcement and said the deal would not only benefit Busselton, but the entire South West.

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