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Freedom of Choice for Dunedin Businesses Takes Off

Freedom of Choice for Dunedin Businesses Takes Off!

(23 March 2005 - Dunedin, Otago) Dunedin’s business and industry leaders will find doing business in Australia a whole lot easier thanks to the efforts of Project Gateway and Freedom Air. Starting 28 March, business professionals can take advantage of three scheduled weekday flights direct from Dunedin to Sydney and back till the end of September 2005.

“It’s about ease of doing business in Australia,’ says Cr. John Bezett, Chair of Project Gateway and the Council’s Economic Development Committee. “Getting to and from Sydney was costly and delays via Christchurch cost time and money.”

Advocates from Project Gateway lobbied hard and Freedom Air has responded with a new scheduled weekly service from Dunedin on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Previously the airline only flew twice a week to Sydney, on Thursdays and Sundays. Says Cr Bezett: “Overall it’s smart business, and one that we hope will be profitable not only for Dunedin but for Freedom Air.”

Approaching Freedom Air late 2004, Project Gateway advocates argued weekday flights between Dunedin and Sydney were vital for the City’s continued commercial growth and that there was a ready demand for such frequency.

Dunedin’s sustained buoyant economy was a key driver for demand. The City’s strong business and tourism growth; increase of over 6,000 jobs since 1999; growing population and expanding business, hotel and international airport infrastructure backed their claim.

Rachel Gardiner, Freedom Air’s Sales and Marketing Manager, says: “Freedom Air has a very positive working relationship with the members of Project Gateway. We were keen to work collectively to look at how we could enhance our scheduled services from Dunedin to Sydney, making them more appealing to the business community.

The introduction of a weekly Dunedin-Sydney schedule departing on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday represented a low risk opportunity for us to test the demand for these services from the business market. The new departure times provide increased flexibility, reducing the inconvenience of travelling to an alternative port and minimising the time away from the office”.

Together Freedom Air and Project Gateway are launching a promotional campaign to increase awareness among local business people of the new air service. It’s hoped that the weekday flights will help encourage business growth and further opportunities for Dunedin.

Project Gateway is led by business and tourism advocates, the Dunedin City Council, Dunedin International Airport Limited, Otago Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Tourism Dunedin. Its aim is to help facilitate business growth by working in partnership with International Airlines and Dunedin and Australian businesses creating more jobs in Dunedin, using the City as a Gateway.

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