2018. What. A. Year.
2018 began with a party in February where we announced that AirAsia would begin flights out of Avalon by December. A packed hangar formed the arena that blue-sky day in February, and since it was an announcement ten years in the making, the celebrations reverberated across the region.
We had ten months to build an international terminal.
The first sod was turned on the 12 May and then construction by Qanstruct was full steam ahead.
Construction didn’t simply involve a new building. The knock-on effect of such an expansion is enormous. Car parks needed expanding and alteration, the domestic internals needed tweaking, the roads needed new direction and footpaths and forecourts needed construction. Domestic flights were not affected, and flights were full.
In the meantime we officially opened the new Industrial Hub with the launch of Cotton On Group’s national distribution centre in October. The building is a stunning design, with state of the art features and a wonderful location to work.
This year we teamed up with Grin Creative and in September we launched our brand new magazine – Avalon Inbound | Outbound. A free travel and lifestyle magazine it is packed full of fun facts, flying tips and news and gems about our destinations – international, domestic and local. The magazine is proving a hit and flying off the shelves faster than we can restock.
Hint: grab your copy to enter a fantastic competition where you could win AirAsia Flatbed flights to Kuala Lumpur with four nights at the stunning Tanjong Jara Resort!
We were super excited to partner up with Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine this year – we are Platinum Partners and look forward to a terrific relationship with an organization that does fantastic work for the region’s tourism economy.
We were just as thrilled to re-sign with Werribee Football Club at the end of the season as Avalon Airport Oval. WFC officially opened its new clubrooms this year, which have a fantastic outlook onto the oval, in what was their first year as a stand alone club.
We have continued with many sponsorships across the year; Oates Vic Open, Surf Coast Trek and many sports clubs across Greater Geelong and Wyndham.
On 2 December our international terminal was officially opened by Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Hon John Eren MP, Member for Lara, to a packed departure lounge. Guests were amazed by the state of the art facilities and incredibly thoughtful design, that aims at simplicity, efficiency and comfort.
An enormous thanks must go to Qanstruct for their incredible work on both the Cotton On Group national distribution centre and on the international terminal. These have both been enormous projects, and their attention to detail and capacity to work under pressure has been above and beyond. Thanks to all the many collaborators that put in so much effort on these projects.
Three days later the inaugural AirAsia A330 landed at around 8.20am. It was an emotional moment, symbolic of not just the hard work that had gone before or of the exciting future ahead, but also of the extraordinary amount of support from respective teams, all levels of government, local community groups and stakeholders and passengers who love flying in and out of Avalon.
Passengers can look forward to cheaper flights, and an easier all round experience when travelling overseas from Avalon. We’re very excited and proud to be Australia’s best small international airport.
The LATs have returned to Avalon again, and have already had a huge impact on the region. We hope they can relax for the rest of the fire season.
I want to take a moment to thank the incredible staff we have here at Avalon, all of whom worked so hard this past year in the lead up to going international.
Thank you everyone who has supported us this year – in what has been one of the most important years in our history. We hope you all have a terrific and safe festive season, a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. We can’t wait to see you here in 2019.
CEO Avalon Airport