THE Moree community is turning on the charm in a bid to seduce QantasLink into making a long-term commitment to the town.
Residents have gone to extraordinary lengths in recent days to demonstrate their unequivocal support for the national carrier.
A Facebook campaign featuring photos of residents showing their gratitude to QantasLink was yesterday supplemented with a touching YouTube video.
But the centrepiece of the campaign, designed to capture the attention of Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce, will take place on Tuesday morning at Moree Regional Airport.
The Moree Airline Steering Committee (MASC) is calling for all residents to converge on the airport and welcome that day’s 11am flight from Sydney.
“We’ve had a lot of support online, but we want to have a very public show of support that the whole world can see,” MASC spokesman Josh McGregor said.
“It’s just an event to say thank you. We greatly appreciate Qantas and we really hope they’ll stay.”
Vital economic, medical and social ties between Moree and the rest of the country were severed last month following the untimely demise of Brindabella Airlines.
But QantasLink, which had previously served the town for more than 20 years, stepped in to provide emergency relief flights until March.
Transport for NSW is set to conduct a tender to determine which airline is granted an exclusive licence to operate the Moree to Sydney route.
While Regional Express is the only airline to go public with its interest, residents are overwhelming in favour of QantasLink’s return.
Stuart and Karen Gall braved the scorching summer sun on Wednesday to paint “Thanks Qantas. Please stay” on the roof of their shed.
“We realised that every day, twice a day for the last 20 years we’ve had Qantas planes flying directly over our house and sheds on time, every time,” Mr Gall said.
“We thought, why don’t we paint the roof of one of our sheds with a big ‘thank you’ sign and hopefully the captains and crews will be able to see it and perhaps pass it on to Alan Joyce.
“We want him to know the Moree community will support Qantas if it will support us.”