Flood-hit Bundaberg gets overseas flights
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BRISBANE, Feb 10 AAP
February 10 2013, 5:12PM
Overseas tourists will fly direct to the flood-devastated Queensland city of Bundaberg under a code-sharing arrangement between Qantas and the world's biggest international airline.
Australians from 31 cities and regional centres - in every state and the Northern Territory - are also set to host visitors from the United Kingdom, Europe, North Africa, South-East Asia and the Middle East, under Qantas's partnership with Dubai-based Emirates.
People in regional NSW and Queensland, and the Northern Territory, are also set to benefit from direct flights to Europe, Qantas said in a statement on Sunday.
Emirates has begun selling airfares to flood-devastated Bundaberg, along with 22 other regional cities across Australia and the state capitals.
Australia's tourism hotspots of Sydney, Gold Coast and Uluru are also included but Canberra misses out.
Qantas International chief executive Simon Hickey said the partnership with Emirates would use Qantas's existing domestic network, boosting tourism outside of the big capital cities.
"This partnership will make travel within Australia easier for visitors and provide tourism operators new opportunities to capitalise on international tourists visiting the country," he said in a statement.
Residents and tourists in regional centres of NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory would also benefit from more direct flights to Europe with shorter travel times, he added.
"Local customers can expect world class travel experiences with more one-stop access to and from Europe, shorter travel times, cheaper airfares and exclusive frequent flyer benefits," he said.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce floated the idea of an Emirates code-share agreement in July last year but has previously dismissed speculation that Emirates would acquire an equity stake in Australia's 92-year-old carrier.