CLONCURRY could be the next stop on Virgin Australia's plans to increase routes across the country to boost tourism and mining.
Representatives from the airline met with Cloncurry Mayor Andrew Daniels on Monday for a presentation outlining the town's mining projects and potential for growth.
Cr Daniels said extra flights to and from Brisbane would benefit the town in a number of ways.
"Flights from between the two cities twice a week would benefit the health system, the mining companies and even the city council," he said. The mayor denied moves to increase capacity at the Cloncurry Airport were to entice a fly-in, fly-out workforce to mining projects in the vicinity.
"It probably does lend itself to fly-in, fly-out but transport was identified as one of the main barriers to getting people to live in our community," he said.
"This move to get another airline into our town wasn't to build fly-in, fly-out, it was to build the community.
"Its all about making Cloncurry more livable because there certainly isn't a shortage in jobs."
A Virgin Australia spokesperson said the airline was continually assessing its route network and opportunities that may arise but had no further announcements to make at this stage.
Cr Daniels said it was now up to Virgin Australia to do the research and find out if the service would be viable.
"They will come out now and investigate how many bums on seats they can get for one or two flights per week," he said.
"They will also look at the impact this will have on services in Mount Isa - there's no use in having two struggling services."
The State Government thanked Virgin Australia yesterday after it announced the commencement of new services between Brisbane and Bundaberg and Brisbane and Moranbah.
Virgin Australia also announced increased capacity on its Brisbane to Perth route with the use of the new wide-body Airbus A330.
Virgin Australia's expansion into the regional domestic market is part of chief executive officer John Borghetti's plan for it to become the airline of choice within the next three years.
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