Moree steps up its plea to QantasLink

MOREE’S campaign to woo QantasLink will intensify tomorrow when residents hold a public rally to show their appreciation for the airline’s decades of service.

Hundreds of people are expected to gather at Moree Airport from 10.30am to greet the QantasLink captain and crew upon landing.

It is hoped the rally will capture the attention of Qantas chief executive officer  Alan Joyce and convince the airline to apply for the exclusive operating licence stripped from Brindabella Airlines.

Moree Airline Steering Committee spokesman Josh McGregor said the event was a way of saying “thank-you” to the national carrier for its 20-year plus association with the town.

“Qantas have supported us in the past during times of flood, international tourist promotions for the town, at every opportunity, even stepping in after the collapse of Brindabella to provide short-term relief services until March 21,” he said.

“We are now appealing to Qantas to support us again. All we ask is for everyone in the town and surrounding districts to give us just one hour of their time (tomorrow) at 10.30am to help us get the message across to Qantas.”

An online survey of almost 900 people has revealed 96 per cent want the “flying kangaroo” to be granted rights to the Sydney to Moree route.

Only 3 per cent of respondents ranked Regional Express, which has signalled its intention to apply for the licence, as their preferred carrier.

Despite the community’s pleas, the airline is yet to disclose whether it will submit an application when Transport for NSW calls for tenders.

“No decisions have been made about seeking to operate the route beyond (March),” a Qantas spokeswoman told The Leader.

“We really value the community support and, as the national airline, we were only too happy to provide immediate temporary relief services for Moree customers, especially in the lead up to the Christmas break.”

Representatives from Transport for NSW met with Moree Plains Shire Council and the public on Tuesday to discuss the process of securing a new carrier.

Residents were outraged when the department acted unilaterally in 2012 to install Brindabella to the route.

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