Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport just outside Toowoomba has welcomed its first regular public transport flight.
Sunny skies welcomed QantasLink flight QF2016, which touched down at 0845 local time on Monday after a 106-minute trip from Sydney, according to the Qantas website.
QantasLink will offer 11 flights a week between Sydney and Wellcamp, Australia’s first privately-funded airport built by family-run local company Wagners.
QantasLink chief executive John Gissing said the new services would stimulate tourism and business opportunities across the Toowoomba region, as all as provide travellers with connections to domestic and international flights on the Qantas network.
Wagners’ chairman John Wagner, as well as brothers Denis, Neill and Joe were on hand to witness the first flight.
“To see our vision of a jet-capable airport come to life and celebrate the first flight with our first customer QantasLink, it’s a moment we are all extremely proud of,” John Wagner said in a statement.
The aircraft operating the first flight, a Bombardier Q400, is named Darling Downs in honour of the region.
Regional Express (Rex) was due to start flights to Brisbane-Wellcamp flights from January 1 2015 after winning three new Queensland government regulated routes.
Wagners hope the airport, with its 2.87km runway capable of handling Boeing 747 aircraft, will prove an attractive proposition for business and leisure travellers, as well as freight operators given the vast agricultural production in the area.
In the initial stage, the 8,000 square metre passenger terminal is capable of handling 1.5 million passengers a year with 10 check-in desks.
Read more about Wellcamp Airport in the November edition of Australian Aviation magazine.