The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) has welcomed news of the development of Victoria’s second international airport at Avalon.
The long-awaited advance will see AirAsia X operate the first international passenger flights in and out of Avalon, prompting the creation of customs, border and other facilities necessary to host international flights.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive, Felicia Mariani, praised the co-operative effort involving Avalon and its owners, AirAsia X, and the federal and state governments.
“This development has been a long time coming and the economic benefits for the Geelong region and all of western Victoria will be substantial,” she said.
“The arrival of AirAsia X means the amazing nature-based experiences and breathtaking landscapes of Geelong, the Surf Coast, and the Great Ocean Road are now in easy reach for our overseas visitors. Better still, Avalon now becomes the international gateway to all western Victoria has to offer.
“It also greatly enhances opportunities for Geelong and the wider region to bid for and host regional business events, a sector we know is worth $475mil to regional economies across the State,” she said.
With two flights a day from Avalon, the region will be opened up to more than 130 destinations worldwide. AirAsia X’s passenger aircraft will also have the capacity to carry Victorian freight exports to the world.
The announcement means Victoria will have a second international airport years before the proposed Badgery’s Creek facility in western Sydney is scheduled to open.
VTIC is urging other carriers to consider following AirAsia X’s lead.
“Once the international facilities have been established and are operational at Avalon , we believe the benefits for other airlines will be obvious,” Ms Mariani said.