Newcastle Airport representatives visited the Filipino city of Cebu in its quest to extend its international capabilities this month.
Over the course of three days, airport representatives met at the Routes Asia conference with senior decision makers representing more than a dozen airlines to discuss opportunities to operate direct air services to the Hunter region.
Newcastle Airport‘s Corporate Affairs Executive Manager, Stephen Crowe said the conference offered the opportunity to talk realistically about the Hunter region and the airport’s aspirations with key people from across the globe.
“Attending events of this global scale will take us closer to connecting our region to more international markets. We met with the airline industry’s leading players to build our connections and discuss route development opportunities,” Stephen said.
Newcastle Airport CEO, Dr Peter Cock stressed the importance of direct international services for the region.
“Currently, travel between Asia and our region requires either a one-stop connection or five hours driving to and from Sydney Airport. This results in the Hunter region missing a share of some of Australia’s largest inbound markets. A majority of the Asian visitors that do visit our region only stay a relatively short time,” Peter said.
“Our recent Auckland – Newcastle direct service demonstrated that not only did a large number of travellers visit our region for the first time, visitors stayed longer than normal. This means more money spent in our hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops and on experiences.”
Newcastle Airport is currently seeking government support to enable an upgrade of the RAAF runway that civilian aircraft access so it can accommodate larger longer-range aircraft.
“Strengthening the runway is essential for the growth of our region, it allows us to fly further and seek new markets such as Singapore and Korea. The inability to accommodate larger aircraft limits our industries and sees these opportunities go to the other states,” Peter said.
Routes Asia is a key route development event attracting over 1,200 delegates from airlines, airports and tourism authorities. It was held in Cebu, Philippines from 10-12 March.
IMAGE | Newcastle Airport representatives at the Routes Asia conference: Airline and Partnership Manager, Allan Woo and Executive Manager Corporate Affairs, Stephen Crowe.
Newcastle Airport is a significant gateway into NSW and the Hunter. As a major transport hub it is critical to economic and social infrastructure and its planned and managed growth has helped underpin the continued prosperity of the Hunter.