Airport boss praises airlines for fighting flu

Gold Coast Airport boss Paul Donovan.
Gold Coast Airport boss Paul Donovan.

GOLD Coast Airport chief operating officer Paul Donovan believes airlines are acting responsibly by luring travellers with heavily discounted fares as swine flu continues to spread around the globe.

“There is no doubt that swine flu is having some impact on some of the carriers, but dealing with the outbreak of viruses or disease is not a new thing for these carriers,” said Mr Donovan.

“Everyone is acting responsibly when it comes to the outbreak of swine flu.

“We take our lead from the health and government authorities on how to deal with such situations, and in this case we are following their advice.

“Not only are we right in the middle of influenza season, we have seen outbreaks like this before.

“For example SARS (Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which was a more deadly outbreak and test for airlines and airports, and we are applying the things learnt then.”

Jetstar had recently offered two-for-one flights to Japan from the Gold Coast Airport this week after 16 flights to Osaka and Tokyo were scrapped in May and June by the low-cost airline after several cancellations by large tour groups due to concerns about swine flu.

The sale gave tourists a chance to fly with a comp- anion for as little as $379 return, plus taxes.

Malaysian budget airline Air Asia X is offering flights from the Gold Coast to London for as little as $426 each way, plus taxes.

While it is not known if the sale is in response to flight cancellations due to concerns about the NIH1 virus, the airline is renowned for its low-cost, no-frills service and last year offered a limited number of flights from the Gold Coast to London for $552 each way, plus taxes.

Meanwhile, the airport's multi-million revamp continues with Jetstar's new passenger lounge opening Monday.

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