ALBURY Airport has snapped up the Sunday afternoon flight Qantas-Link had formerly operated between Sydney and Mount Hotham.
Airport manager David Costello confirmed the extra flight would be added to the Albury schedule in the lead-up to the ski season.
Qantas had operated the 80-minute seasonal service since the Hotham Airport opened in 2000.
An existing bus service between Albury Airport and Falls Creek is likely to be replicated between Albury and Mount Hotham.
Qantas’ entire Sydney-Mount Hotham service — usually runs for 12 winter weeks — was canned as part of the review of operations after the company’s half-year $252 million loss.
Confirmation of the extra Sunday flight to Albury comes with the completion of a $2.6 million runway re-seal.
Wodonga-based Downer EDI Works carried out the re-seal of the 1900-metre long runway between the hours of 8pm and 5am to ensure no disruption to regular flight services.
The upgrade will ensure the runway remains safe and compliant for the next 10 to 15 years and is the first major upgrade to the runway since 1997.
A total of 7200 tonnes of asphalt were needed to fully resurface the 57,000 square metres of runway area.
Once the asphalt has fully cured it will have more than 1500 kilometres of grooves cut into the surface that will help drainage and improve aircraft traction during wet conditions.
Mayor Kevin Mack said it was a credit to the contractors there was no impact on flight schedules.
“It’s a great outcome and a significant improvement to a major tourism and economic development asset in our city,” he said.
Albury’s annual passenger numbers peaked at 289,298 in 2008-09 but were about 269,000 in 2012-13, slightly down on the previous financial year.
Albury remains the fourth busiest in regional NSW and 19th busiest in regional Australia.