The Territory Government has welcomed today’s announcement that Virgin Australia will begin a new service from Adelaide to Alice Springs starting from March next year and open a new lounge at Alice Springs Airport.
“This is a double dose of great news for Alice Springs residents, businesses and tourism operators,” said Chief Minister Adam Giles.
“The new schedule will use Virgin Australia’s 176-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft and will fly three times a week, providing a significant increase in capacity to the Centre and linking up with their new Darwin to Alice route which starts in march next year.
“I am particularly thrilled that Virgin Australia has such confidence in the Centre they have upped the ante and will also open a new Regional Lounge for their new customers at Alice Springs Airport.
“This new Darwin-Alice-Adelaide link will strengthen our position as the gateway to Northern Australia and offer more choice to business travellers from southern states, which is good news for our economy.”
Minister for Tourism Matt Conlan said the new Virgin Australia Alice-Adelaide route would help attract more tourists to the Centre.
“This is a huge vote of confidence in what we’re doing with rejuvenating our tourism industry in the Centre and is a clear sign our new Do the NT campaign is cutting through,” he said.
“Virgin recognises the Centre is an iconic part of Australia. They have wanted to be a part of it for a while and now that opportunity has arrived. While the new Alice-Adelaide route will start off three times a week, we would certainly be hoping that soon builds-up to a daily service.
“The new route will offer both local residents and visitors greater competition in accessing the NT from southern capital cities, which can only translate into more tourists booking holidays here.
“It will also open up the Centre to a carrier who is strategically aligned to three of the world’s largest airlines, Etihad, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines, with great connections to some of our biggest international markets including Europe.
“The Country Liberals Government remains committed to growing our tourism industry and achieving a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020 to create more jobs for Territorians.
“Today’s announcement will help us build on recent positive signs of recovery in the industry and a five-year high 7.6 per cent increase in overall visitors to the NT for the year ending June 2014.”