Monday, March 10, 2014

Qantas Announces New Flights to Hervey Bay and Hamilton Island, But Reduces Gladstone Services from Sydney

Late last week, Qantas announced a number of new regional routes to provide customers with direct services to five new destinations on its domestic network.  These new routes - to be predominately operated by QantasLink - include linking Hervey Bay and Hamilton Island Airports to Sydney, Miles to Brisbane, along with Brisbane to Port Macquarie and Melbourne to Coffs Harbour.

Single-class 125-seat or two-class 110-seat Cobham Aviation-operated Boeing B717-200 aircraft will start direct weekend flights for QantasLink to Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) from Sydney on Saturday 17 May.  QantasLink will also increase the frequency and capacity on its existing Hervey Bay to Brisbane route, with eight new services, and equipment upgrades, adding 640 seats from Saturday 5 April.

QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 Next Gen VH-LQF at Hervey Bay Airport last year  (File photo taken by Brendan Berry ©)

From Wednesday 2 July, Qantas will commence flying Boeing B737-800 aircraft into the heart of the Whitsundays, flying directly from Sydney to Hamilton Island each Wednesday and Sunday.  There are also plans to add a Saturday flight during peak times.

Qantas B737-800 VH-XZK lands at Sydney Airport after a recent charter flight to Hamilton Island  (File photo taken by Bernie P ©)

When announcing the new routes, a Qantas spokesperson had great delight is saying that “we’ve listened to our customers who told us they want direct services to these destinations, with most of them being popular holiday spots.

Customers would previously have to travel via another port, now they are able to travel direct to their holiday destination.

This is great news for tourism in Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Hervey Bay, Hamilton Island and Miles.

Meanwhile, in announcing these increases, the local Gladstone Observer newspaper has reported that Qantas will be cancelling three of its eight return flights from Sydney to Gladstone Airport from Monday 28 April due to poor commercial performance.  There has been talk for some time that Qantas was reviewing the flights, with poor feedback on passenger numbers from those using the service.

QantasLink Dash-8-400 Next Gen VH-LQH operates the innaugural Sydney to Gladstone service in March 2013  (File photo taken by Jamie C ©)

Five services will continue to operate by QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 aircraft on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and a double return service on Friday will continue.

It should also be noted that QantasLink currently operates 2-3 additional flights between Gladstone and Sydney each week that appear to be closed Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charters.

Tickets for the new services are available now.

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