A man sits at a cafe in front of a Virgin Australia aircraft at Sydney Airport, Sydney, Friday, June 19, 2020. (AAP Image/James Gourley)
A man sits at a cafe in front of a Virgin Australia aircraft at Sydney Airport, Sydney, Friday, June 19, 2020. (AAP Image/James Gourley)

Airline confirms its return to Ballina

THINGS are looking up at Ballina Airport, with the return of a number of airlines which pulled their services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virgin Australia is looking to reintroduce services between Sydney and Ballina in mid to late July.

The expansion comes as demand for travel has increased by almost 20 per cent across Virgin's network in comparison to the same period last week.

"Demand for air travel is slowly beginning to return and while we are operating a reduced schedule, we'll continue to add more services and frequencies as demand increases and restrictions ease," a Virgin Australia Group spokesman said.

Before the pandemic hit, Virgin made up 20 per cent of air traffic from Ballina airport.

Cr Wright said he was amazed at how quickly business through the airport was rebuilding at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We were told the airport would be running 18 flights per week by the school holidays, instead we'll have 42 flights per week," Cr Wright said.

"Ballina is growing, and the airport is a vital part of that."