By: Fabian Cotter

THE APPLE ISLE now has its first SkyBus airport and CBD shuttle service active following an official launch in Hobart, Tasmania, over the weekend, it’s reported recently.

SkyBus continues its expansion following its official Hobart launch.

At a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on Brooke Street Pier last Sunday, July 29, SkyBus co-CEO and director Michael Sewards described the moment as a very exciting time for the Melbourne-based company, which has 40 years’ history in airport passenger transport.

"Tourism into Hobart is growing every year and Hobart Airport is growing with future international flights on the drawing board," Sewards said.

"This is SkyBus’s fourth new service …

"The new service has begun operation today for the residents, business and tourism operators of Hobart.

"SkyBus will deliver a modern airport bus service to and from Hobart Airport, with multiple stops in and out of the city.

"We will provide affordability with superior service, offering our customers free Wi-Fi, luggage racks, reliable running times, as well as online, mobile and kiosk ticketing options," he explained.

Sewards said SkyBus is already a well-known brand in Tasmania, with "22 per cent of domestic passengers in Melbourne coming from the Island State."

"SkyBus currently transports 4 million people every year from Tullamarine and Avalon [airports] with growth averaging 10 per cent every year. We are moving 1 million passengers in Auckland."

Sewards added that SkyBus had received excellent support from tourism and government authorities in its bid to gain a Tasmanian foothold.

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SkyBus previously ran nine services from four airports in Australia and New Zealand, and entered into contractual arrangements to acquire the local service, "Hobart Airporter", last month.

Subject to receiving appropriate airport and government approvals, SkyBus launched its Hobart service.

"We thank the Larrissey [Tasmania’s own’ Redline] family for their assistance in making this transaction possible, and we look forward to now working with Hobart Airport and building and planning on the delivery of our service…" Sewards said.

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT) - the peak body for Tasmania’s tourism industry - CEO Luke Martin said SkyBus will provide a national level of operation for the Hobart and Tasmanian market.

"SkyBus will provide a quality visitor experience and will completely change the perception of getting in and out of Hobart airport. SkyBus will provide great amenity through the quality of its buses and Wi-Fi for Hobart, which is a world-class city and world-class destination. I believe Tasmanians will embrace the new service," Martin said.

Hobart Airport CEO Sarah Renner said the announcement was a welcome addition to the services offered at Hobart Airport.

"Hobart Airport has gone through incredible growth in recent years, and the provision of this service can only enhance the visitor experience to the states capital," Renner said.

SkyBus received its third consecutive Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in 2018. SkyBus also won the Gold prize at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards in both 2017 and 2016.

SkyBus also operates services to Melbourne City, Southbank, St Kilda, Geelong, Werribee, Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula and the Gold Coast in Australia and Auckland in New Zealand.

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