CLONCURRY'S livability has taken another giant step forward after Virgin Australia announced it would start direct flights from Brisbane to the booming town yesterday.
Residents of Cloncurry will now have easier access to the south east corner, an improvement the shire's Mayor Andrew Daniels said would enhance the appeal of the town.
``The Cloncurry Community plan highlighted that our community wanted direct Brisbane flights from Cloncurry and such service will make Cloncurry more accessible to business, family and friends in Queensland's South East Corner,'' Cr Daniels said.
The airline will offer a Brisbane service into Cloncurry twice a week.
Cr Daniels said direct Brisbane flights would be great for both locals and the businesses operating in and out of Cloncurry.
``Cloncurry is a vibrant community and having Virgin realise the potential in this region certainly emphasis's Cloncurry's economic prospects and its position as the heart of the North West Mineral Province,'' he said.
Council initiated discussions with Virgin Australia Airlines after the community highlighted that access to the South East Corner was a real concern.
Cr Daniels said the council was proud of its hard work to secure the inception of Virgin Australia and credited local mining companies for ``recognising the benefit of this service to both their business and our community''.
``Direct Brisbane flights will add to the livability of our community and I encourage everyone travelling to Brisbane from the North West to use Virgin's Cloncurry service,'' he said.
Flights between Brisbane and Cloncurry will start on November 27, with Virgin Australia's 98-seat Embraer E190 jet operating a return Brisbane-Cloncurry service on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Virgin Australia chief commercial officer Judith Crompton said Cloncurry was ``an important regional centre that has seen strong growth in the agriculture and resources industries''.
``Up until now, those wishing to travel to Brisbane have needed to transit through Mount Isa or Townsville,'' she said.
As we have seen in other markets such as Moranbah and Bundaberg, a direct service brings many benefits to the community including greater access to specialist services and increased visitation.
Ms Crompton praised the support of the council, especially Cr Daniels, council chief officer David Neeves and the council leadership team.
Fares go on sale on the Virgin Australia website today and to celebrate, Virgin Australia is offering special promotional fares on sale until October 1, 2013 (for selected travel times) from as little as $199 one way.
The two flights a week depart Brisbane on Wednesday and Friday at 10am, arriving in Cloncurry at 12:30pm and departing from Cloncurry at 1pm arriving into Brisbane at 3pm.