Tiger Airways has launched a Sydney-Whitsunday route.
Tiger Airways has launched a Sydney-Whitsunday route. Tony Martin

Tiger comeback tipped

TRAVELLERS may see the return of direct flights to Melbourne if Mackay Airport has its way - but Tiger Airways is yet to confirm any plans to resume the service.

The airline offered budget airfares to Mackay residents flying directly to Melbourne before they suspended the service last year.

A one-way flight to Melbourne from Mackay today would cost $454 with Virgin Australia, $638 (carry-on baggage only) with Jetstar and $719 with Qantas.

When Tiger Airways operated, their one-way fare was as low as $79.95.

Mackay Airport general manager Rob Porter said he was interested in the airline's return to Mackay.

"Our goal is to see Tiger return to Mackay and reopen the popular Mackay-Melbourne direct route and we are currently in discussion with them," Mr Porter said.

"Prior to that Tiger were operating a service four days a week between Melbourne and Mackay."

A Tiger Airways spokeswoman said the airline had been communicating with a number of Australian tourism companies and airports about the company's future plans.

"The airline is resuming domestic services gradually, focusing on flying the popular core routes, which enable the airline to fly affordably and with enhanced reliability," the spokeswoman said.

"The airline is keen to reinstate flights to a number of destinations around Australia - these will be announced in due course," she said.

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