Two Decades of Service to Newcastle and The Hunter

Sydney, 24 January 2002

QantasLink operator Eastern Australia Airlines will tomorrow celebrate 20 years of operation to Newcastle.

General Manager Eastern Australia Airlines Ashley Kilroy said the airline had received a great deal of support from the people of Newcastle and the Hunter Region over the two decades.

"Eastern Australia Airlines began in Tamworth more than 50 years ago and now operates under the QantasLink brand," Mr Kilroy said.

"When we first started operating to Newcastle it was with nine-seat aircraft and a local staff of four. Over the years we have grown and developed along with the local community and now have a modern fleet of aircraft operating more than 120 return flights each week between Newcastle and Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Coolangatta, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour."

Three of the 14 Newcastle-based staff - Airport Manager George Boscolo and Passenger Services Agents Devereaux Dargeavel and Helen McDonnell - have been with the airline for more than 10 years and have seen many developments, including two airport upgrades.

"QantasLink has been a strong supporter of regional development and tourism within Newcastle and the Hunter as a member of the Hunter Region Tourism Association," Mr Kilroy said.

"The airline also provides sponsorship and support for many local business, community and sporting organisations."

The QantasLink network extends to over 65 towns and cities across Australia and carries around four million passengers each year.

QantasLink offers all customers access to the benefits of the Qantas loyalty programs, together with the convenience of through baggage check for domestic and international travel.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (2596)