A NEW regional airline could be set to fly into the market and pick up the slack after Qantas dropped its Sydney to Gladstone route.
JetGo is bringing one of its aircraft to Gladstone on Friday to show it to representatives at the Gladstone Regional Council and the Gladstone Airport Corporation, and hopes to make announcements regarding the long-term provision of direct jet services on the Sydney to Gladstone route.
Almost 570 people "liked" a post on the JetGo Facebook page telling people "if you would like to see JetGo in Gladstone please like this post … we look forward to a positive outcome to our negotiations with the city and will keep you advised".
The company, JetGo Australia Holding Pty Ltd, had its airline licence issued on October 3 through the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, with online reservations for its first service - Sydney to Roma - set to go live on Wednesday.
The next hope is a Gladstone to Sydney flight, which could be a goer after JetGo announced last month that it had entered formal negotiations with Gladstone's airport and council.
In July JetGo CEO Jason Ryder advised industry onlookers that the company intended to launch "a unique product to the travelling public, offering 'rock star' service and lightning-fast transit times" between regional centres and capital city airports.
"With our 36, 44 and 50-seat regional jets we are able to cut travel times down by half or better, at the same time avoiding hub airports such as Brisbane with its associated congestion problems," he said.
JetGo was established in 2012 with a focus on contract charter work, particularly around fly-in fly-out operations from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Sydney to mining centres.
The fleet includes jets that can travel at speeds of 828kmh with a maximum range of 3243km.
Gladstone residents keen to support JetGo
GLADSTONE residents were vocal in their move to threw their support behind JetGo on its Facebook site.
In comments on the site, Deputy Mayor Matt Burnett wrote, "JetGo, Gladstone is the logical choice".
Kathryn Webb commented that she really hoped JetGo would come to Gladstone, "and sooner rather than later".
"Makes the monthly trek easier to cope with," she said, while Mel Gourley said Gladstone was a perfect choice.
Venessa Spangen said: "Yes please!!!"
"Hubby just pointed out that for myself, hubby and son to fly to Sydney return from Gladstone, we would have to fly to Brisbane first then Sydney, then from Sydney back to Brisbane then Gladstone, being an expensive trip," she commented.
"It's cheaper to fly us to Hawaii for a holiday then to fly to Sydney at this current time, so bring on the new airline and competitive prices."
Not everyone was in agreeance agreed though.
Rockhampton local Scott Headon commented: "This is ridiculous, Qantas pulled out of the route for a very obvious reason - patronage.
"Why would you not commence Rockhampton to Sydney flights before Gladstone?" he asked.
"Rockhampton is the regional hub and has both industry as well as state and federal government departments based in the city.
"Logistically and financially Gladstone direct to anywhere but Brisbane is nonsensical."