Celebrating the three-year extension of QantasLink’s licence to exclusively fly the Moree to Sydney air route, Moree Plains Shire Councillor Kerry Cassells, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Moree Plains Shire Council General Manager Lester Rodgers and Moree QantasLink contractor Allan Whiteley.
Monday, 8 November 2021
IN A major boost for businesses and tourism operators in the North West, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today announced QantasLink will continue to service the Sydney to Moree air route for another three years.
Mr Marshall joined Moree Plains Shire Council representatives to make the important announcement after the State Government decided to extend the air carrier’s licence until March 2025 – the maximum period permitted.
Mr Marshall said the Sydney to Moree route would continue to remain regulated, supporting the region’s access to medical services, economic development and tourism opportunities.
“Locals made their preference for continued regulation loud and clear, so I’m thrilled we’ve been able to extend the licence to ensure Moree and the surrounding communities can continue to access Sydney via a quick and direct flight,” Mr Marshall said.
“The air transport licence was initially awarded to QantasLink in June 2018 for a two-year term, extended for another two years in 2020 and the community has been vocal since then of the need to keep a regulated service between Sydney to Moree.
“This route is one of two in NSW that will remain regulated and the license will remain the same as it has been operating for the past four years.
“With the deadline for the licence renewal fast approaching I wanted to lock QantasLink into the route to give certainty to business operators who have been battling through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is brilliant news for the region and gives everyone certainty, especially with Moree poised for an economic boom thanks to inland rail, the Special Activation Precinct and seasonal conditions on the land the best they’ve been for a long time.
“I want to acknowledge QantasLink for the work it has done reinstating flights back into Moree following the pandemic shutdown.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the continuation of essential air services was part of the NSW Government’s commitment to achieving $25 billion in overnight visitor expenditure in Regional NSW by 2030.
“Aviation continues to be an essential way for customers to travel to and from regional NSW and the NSW Government has worked with the aviation sector to ensure regular air services to remote areas of NSW are maintained,” Mr Toole said.
“Extending the air service for another three years will provide an opportunity for the community to maximise tourism opportunities in the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the renewal of the licence to operate to Moree was great news for local residents.
“As the national carrier and the country’s largest regional airline, we are focused on connecting people and places and encouraging travellers to discover the best of Australia,” Mr Gissing said.
“QantasLink has proudly served the Moree community for more than 25 years. It’s an important part our regional network so we’re pleased our services will be continuing.”
Moree Shire Plains Mayor Katrina Humphries said it was exciting that Qantas would be continuing to service the transport needs of the mighty Moree Plains and broader region.
“This is a great outcome for our community, our business and industry, our tourism sector, and our health services,” Cr Humphries said.
“The Moree Shire and Qantas have a long standing and very special relationship and we could not have a better or more reliable partner as we move into a future of significant prosperity.
The Moree community deserves the best and that’s what this decision ensures,” Mayor Humphries said.
Moree Plains Shire Council General Manager Lester Rodgers said it was pleasing to know that Qantas would continue to provide exclusive air travel services between Moree and Sydney for the next three years.
“With Inland Rail, the Moree Special Activation Precinct, and the planned Moree hospital redevelopment in our midst, the shire is experiencing significant economic growth and we need a top tier airline to meet our current and future needs,” Mr Rodgers said.
“This decision will provide confidence and comfort to the many across our region that rely on a high standard of air travel for health and wellbeing, education, and business services.”