Prime Minister gets in on flight drama for Cowboys fans
PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has urged airline Qantas to add additional flights between North Queensland and Sydney ahead of the NRL grand finals at the weekend.
The push comes amid reports of surging airline prices following the Cowboys elimination final win last week.
Speaking to Hit 103.1 Townsville on Thursday, Mr Turnbull said he was concerned about the prices and lack of flight options.
"I have heard about it and am concerned with it, I actually just got off the phone with Alan Joyce who is the Qantas chief executive," he said.
"He said he has already put on some more flights and is keen to add some more.
"I have encouraged him to do that."
Mr Turnbull will be travelling to Sydney to watch the game, and despite not being an original Cowboys supporter, was impressed with their efforts this season.
"I am a Roosters fan so was quite heartbroken when they were knocked out of the competition," he told the radio station.
"But I'm over that now and will be supporting the Cowboys this weekend.
"I think it is an amazing Cinderalla story, noone gave them a chance, they were eighth in the final, so what an extraordinary climb back and to do that all without JT is amazing."
Earlier this week Federal North Queensland MP Bob Katter also wrote to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about major airlines abusing their market power in events like the grand final.
He accused the behaviour of airlines, and in particular Mr Joyce, of being 'un-Australian'.
"Now while he is paying himself $25 million a year, he's skinning the people in North Queensland," he said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The most outrageous and un-Australian thing, he's stopping North Queenslanders from getting to the NRL grand final."
According to Mr Katter, Jetstar, Virgin and Qantas flights between Sydney and Townsville are normally $400 to $500 return but had been increased to over $1000 for the finals.
Reports from AAP state a QANTAS spokeswoman said four additional return flights had been scheduled for the NRL grand finals so far.
Extra flights have also been added for the AFL grand final on Saturday.