Gurmesh Singh, Member for Coffs Harbour.
Gurmesh Singh, Member for Coffs Harbour.

Outcry over Tigerair’s axing of services

MEMBER for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh is extremely disappointed with Tigerair Australia's decision to withdraw its services in April.

Mr Singh said yesterday's announcement flew in the face of continuing growth being experienced at Coffs Harbour Airport and the strength of the local economy.

"I know many Coffs Coast air travellers wanting to access capital cities have enjoyed the increased affordability provided by carriers like Tiger, and our local tourism industry has benefited greatly from the direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne." he said.

"I'm writing to both Virgin Australia and Qantas Airways management to see what plans they have in place for the future enhancement of services at Coffs Harbour Airport.

Mr Singh's comments follow the announcement that budget airline Tigerair will axe five domestic routes and cut its fleet by a third, with regional centres hit particularly hard.

Tigerair owner Virgin Australia announced the measures yesterday while confirming it had lost almost $100 million in the past six months.

In a statement, Virgin said the coronavirus crisis was having a "weakening effect on international and domestic demand".

Coffs Harbour has lost flights to Sydney and its only direct route to Melbourne.

Martin Wells, from the local Chamber of Commerce, said it was a sad day for the Coffs Coast.

It was another blow for the region after the economic impact of bushfires, flooding and the departure of the global auto racing World Rally Championships.

Coffs Harbour City Council said Tigerair's departure from the local airport was "very disappointing", particularly in light of steady bookings on the Melbourne route.