Australia’s low fares airline Jetstar will expand to a daily service on its direct Ballina Byron–Melbourne route from October 26, more than doubling existing level of frequencies and seat availability on the growing market.

The four extra A320 weekly return services by Jetstar will result in more than 1400 additional seats offered weekly into and out of Ballina Byron Airport by the value-based carrier.

Jetstar’s growing A320 fleet will support the extra services as part of its newly published Northern Winter flight schedule.

With the continuation of its existing daily Sydney-Ballina Byron return service, Jetstar will now offer almost 5000 weekly seats to directly connect the Northern Rivers with the nation’s two largest cities.

Jetstar Group General Manager Commercial Bruce Buchanan said the airline was proud to be bringing more low fares to the Far North Coast, with Jetstar’s everyday low one-way web fares to Ballina Byron starting from $99 from Melbourne* and $69 from Sydney*, available at Jetstar.com. (* JetSaver Light fares).

“There continues to be growing demand for travel between Melbourne and Ballina Byron –- a service Jetstar innovatively introduced in March 2006,” Mr Buchanan said.

“In addition, our newly revised schedule provides even easier access between Melbourne and Ballina, with the region’s airport acting as a growing gateway for both business and leisure travellers wanting ease of access to Northern Rivers townships of Ballina, Lismore and nearby Byron Bay.”

Ballina Shire Mayor Councillor Phillip Silver welcomed the new services.

“Ballina Shire Council is pleased to continue to enhance its partnership with Jetstar that is delivering additional flights and improved air access between the Northern Rivers region and Melbourne,” Cr Silver said.

“Jetstar’s commitment to a daily offering on its Melbourne-Ballina Byron route is a significant step, one that is strongly supported by the council, with the airline having previously offered the service three times weekly.

“With revised morning arrival and departure timings into Ballina Byron Airport, we anticipate the growing Melbourne service to prove attractive to interstate holiday makers, business travellers and local residents.

“The announcement is a further positive step in the expansion of Ballina Byron Airport.”

Mr Buchanan said the performance of Jetstar’s Carbon Offset Program continued to identify the Ballina Byron market as the strongest support base for efficient and sustainable air travel in the network.

“Our Carbon Offset Program has been very well received in Ballina Byron, with more than one in five of our web booking customers choosing to offset their travel to and from this destination from Melbourne and Sydney. We hope to gather even more support for our environmental program with these new services,” Mr Buchanan said.

Jetstar’s Northern Winter schedule is now available at http://www.jetstar.com/au/en/index.html