Virgin Australia to suspend Brisbane-Hamilton flights

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.