Jetstar. jobs to stay at Avalon after state government agreement

The future of Avalon Airport has been secured, saving up to 200 local jobs.

On Monday, the state government announced that it had signed a $12 million agreement with airline Jetstar that secures operations at the airport for the next 10 years and expands passenger services.

Airport operator Linfox has also agreed to pay an extra $14 million over 10 years.

Industry Minister Lily D’Ambrosio hailed the announcement as a “landmark partnership”, adding that it would keep passenger servcies at the airport.

As part of the agreement, Jetstar will increase its operations at Avalon and expand to new routes in a bid to increase patronage.

In the next 18 months, Jetstar will increase the number of flights from five to seven a day and fly to two new domestic destinations.

The new destinations have yet to be revealed.

The government said the agreement laid the groundwork for a potential expansion that would cement Avalon Airport as Victoria’s second major passenger airport, including international carriers.

“By increasing services at Avalon, we’re bringing more visitors to Geelong and Victoria, boosting the local tourism industry,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“Victoria is the major events capital of our nation. The Australian International Airshow attracts 150,000 people and generates over $1.4 billion for the aero-defence industry – and it’s here to stay.”

Premier Daniel Andrews said he hoped the agreement would create more jobs in the region.

The deal comes just three days before a funding package from the previous government was set to expire.

About 500,000 passengers a year currently use Avalon, with the plan expected to increase numbers to about 700,000 passengers.