TIGERAIR has launched its Coffs Harbour to Melbourne service with the inaugural flight touching down at Coffs Harbour Regional Airport today.
The flight arrived at 10.47am, eight minutes ahead of schedule.
The introduction of the service means three weekly return flights will operate between the cities - adding more than 1000 additional seats travelling to and from Coffs Harbour Regional Airport each week.
Airport manager Dennis Martin said the new service demonstrates confidence in the Coffs Coast tourism industry.
"The new flights cater for tourism and business, and offers a significant contribution to our local economy," Mr Martin said.
The new service is expected to see airport traffic bounce-back after a drop in 2014.
Mr Martin said passenger numbers expected to rise to more than 400,000 in 2016.
Tigerair Commercial Director Adam Rowe said he was confident the new route would be popular.
"Coffs Harbour is a great tourism destination for families and leisure seekers, with a fantastic year round climate, great beaches and resorts," Mr Rowe said.
"We are confident this new route will be popular with both local Coffs Harbour residents and Melburnians seeking an affordable getaway."
To celebrate the new route launching today, the airline is putting on a special launch day sale with fares for the new services between Melbourne and Coffs Harbour on sale from just $49 each way and between Sydney and Coffs Harbour from $29 each way.
The sale ends midday Tuesday, or until sold out.
• The new Melbourne-Coffs Harbour route provides the only mid-week services between Melbourne and Coffs Harbour and is estimated to provide significant economic value to the Coffs Harbour region of almost $8million a year by way of inbound passenger spend, as well as potential further growth and job development.
• Three weekly return flights depart Melbourne at 9:05am on Mondays and Wednesdays and 8:45am on Fridays, arriving into Coffs Harbour at 10:55am Monday and Wednesday and 10:35am on Fridays. Returning from Coffs Harbour at 11:25am Mondays and Wednesdays and at 11:05am on Friday.
• The new route delivers 1080 additional visitor seats weekly through Melbourne and Coffs Harbour Airports or over 56,000 additional visitor seats annually.
• Tigerair Australia first launched services between Sydney and Coffs Harbour in February 2013 as the airline's first intrastate route.
• With the new Melbourne-Coffs Harbour route, Tigerair will provide double the number of visitor seats currently available through Coffs Harbour Airport, with a total of 2160 visitor seats through Coffs Harbour Airport each week or over 112,000 visitor seats annually.