The service operated from June 2005 to July 2008.
Illawarra Regional Airport is owned and operated by Shellharbour City Council.
Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba was aboard the first JetGo flight from Albion Park to Melbourne at 7am.
“The plane was well occupied and there were a lot of excited people,” Cr Saliba said. “It was a real mixture of people – some for business, some for pleasure, some visiting families. One or two of them were just taking it because it was the first flight and they wanted to be on it.”
Cr Saliba described it as “a really exciting day to actually see this come to fruition”.
“From council’s perspective, there was the issue of ‘is this going to be successful?’ There was some hesitation in going down that path if it wasn’t going to work.
“But for us to continue to be patient and work all through the issues to get to today will bring a lot of joy to a lot of people.”
JetGo was unveiled as the operator of the region’s new passenger airline services in early July.
Shellharbour City Council has worked to install a new temporary passenger terminal at the airport and upgrade existing infrastructure.
Cr Saliba said more than 3000 tickets had already been sold for flights out of Albion Park.
Jet Go are also considering other routes. They’ve talked about the Gold Coast and (going) to other areas.
There’s also an opportunity for us to take on other service providers, to come in and provide flights to other areas.