FlyPelican has announced it will continue to operate its new Dubbo-Ballina Byron route until 31 January 2020 and also add additional flights.
The airline said the decision to extend the service beyond its initial 20 November expiry was due to it achieving “well over” 75 per cent occupancy in both directions.
The news comes after Australian Aviation reported in July that Byron is now welcoming almost as many flights as before the pandemic began, with regular services also operated by Virgin Australia, Qantas and Jetstar.
The beach resort appears to be a rare benefactor of Queensland’s decision to shut its border to NSW.
Dubbo councillor Ben Shields said the two councils and the airline “went out on a limb” to increase NSW domestic tourism but that the decision paid off.
“Making this route affordable also means that not only will more visitors come, but they’ll be able to stay in the region longer because they didn’t spend hundreds of dollars on a fare,” said Shields.
FlyPelican chief executive Marty Hawley said, “Starting on 20 October, FlyPelican will begin operating a Tuesday service, leaving Dubbo at 8:40am and returning from Ballina at 12:30pm.
“I want to thank Dubbo Regional Council and Ballina Shire Council and their associated airports for their support of the route thus far.”
Last week, FlyPelican announced it would also launch twice-weekly return flights between Canberra and Port Macquarie in NSW from 1 November.
The route will initially operate every Thursday and Sunday afternoon, and is the third destination offered by FlyPelican from Canberra.