Virgin Australia to suspend Brisbane-Hamilton flights

Fuseworks Ltd.

Hamilton Airport announced today it has been advised by Virgin

Australia that the airline will cease operating its

Brisbane-Hamilton route after 27 October 2012 due to a lack of

demand by travellers.

Virgin Australia (previously operating as Pacific Blue) began

offering a Brisbane-Hamilton service in September 2009 and flies

the route three times each week.

Virgin Australia New Zealand Executive General Manager, Mark Pitt,

said, "Despite our support and our positive relationship with

Hamilton Airport over the past three years, demand for this service

has continued to deteriorate and the service is no longer

sustainable.

"Therefore, after careful consideration, we have made the decision

to cease operating this service.

Our last flight will be on 27 October."

Hamilton Airport CEO, Chris Doak, said the decision by Virgin

Australia was disappointing for the region.

"Virgin Australia has supported the region with their aircraft and

has worked hard to connect with the local traveller. This was a

decision that came down to passenger numbers. There just

weren’t enough people using the services," he said.

Hamilton Airport Chairman, John Birch, said the airport was in a

viable financial position and, despite the decision by Virgin

Australia, the airport will continue to run profitably going

forward given it is a diversified operation.

"We’ve spent the last few years restructuring and paying back

debt. Additionally we’re now seeing revenues from our

diversification into property, which involves utilising our surplus

land. The airport is a multi-faceted business, which helps protect

us from exactly this scenario.

"We are operating profitably and, despite the setback of the

suspension of Virgin Australia services, subject to world economic

pressures, we will remain profitable," he said.