Travelling to Brisbane just became easier with Queensland carrier Macair Airlines expanding into the New England and north-west.
The airline took over the Tamworth-Armidale-Brisbane route from QantasLink and will operate two daily return flights to the region starting tomorrow night.
"The improved link and new scheduling between the New England region and Brisbane allows travellers from Tamworth and Armidale a full day in Brisbane," Macair general manager Kevin Gill, said yesterday.
"Travellers from Brisbane will have half a day in either centre, which is perfect for business meetings."
The airline has purchased a $2-million 19-seat Metro aircraft to service the route
It's the first route Macair has taken on outside Queensland and Mr Gill said he felt confident it would be successful, despite QantasLink pull-ing out due to a lack of profitability.
"The key thing for us is to start well and focus on delivering a product with safe, reliable and friendly services," he said.
"This route, if it's properly managed and we achieve what we set out to do, should be successful.
"Passenger numbers are steady. It's all about providing a steady reliable service."
QantasLink approach-ed Macair about taking over the route in June.
"We reviewed the demand and assessed the market and came to the decision that we would operate here," he said.
Mr Gill called on the community to support the airline that had "made a substantial commitment to the region".
"We've acquired an airline, we've commenced an awareness campaign in newspapers and on television, one of our sales executives will be based here," he said.
By promoting the area and the airline's presence here, Mr Gill said he hoped to increase passenger numbers.
With Queensland's second biggest regional carrier servicing the route, Tourism Tamworth CEO Dean Belle said it should bring more tourists from north of the border in the long term.
"It could help business opportunities in terms of the number of conferences held in Tamworth," he said.