RUNWAY upgrades will enable Qantas flights from Adelaide and Melbourne to Kangaroo Island, starting later this month.
Qantas will operate three to five flights each week between Adelaide and Kangaroo Island, complementing the existing Regional Express and SeaLink ferry services.
The additional direct flights are set to help boost tourism, trade and investment, with 141,000 visitors to the island in 2016/17.
The state and federal governments jointly invested $18 million to upgrade Kingscote Kangaroo Island Airport, with the objective to encourage flights to the island from interstate airports.
The new runway will be complete for the inaugural Melbourne flights on December 17, with the new terminal opening in April 2018.
Premier Jay Weatherill said regional airports were critical to drivers of tourism, jobs and economic growth.
“We are committed to attracting more flights and more airlines to South Australia,” he said.
Tourism minister Leon Bignell said the government had “always believed in Kangaroo Island”, and had worked hard to win the new services.
“These flights will see more visitors gain direct access to the premium food and beverages, stunning scenery and wildlife of Kangaroo Island,” he said.