On Monday 31 August, Qantas / QantasLink looked to increase seat capacity into Rockhampton Airport quite substantially with the re-introduction of services into the beef capital by their Boeing B717-200 aircraft.
As shown, B717-200 VH-YQS had the honour of operating the QJE1794/5 service arriving from and later departing back to Brisbane.
The arrival of the 110-seat two-class or 125-seat all economy aircraft seems to come on top of already existing QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 flights to Rockhampton Airport also from the capital. The daily Dash-8-Q400 flight from Townsville and Mackay Airports also looks to be continuing.
At the time of writing, it appears that two visits by B717-200 jets are planned into Rockhampton Airport from and back to Brisbane on Tuesday 1 September.
Of interest, this is the first time since June 2018 that QantasLink B717-200s have operated into Rockhampton Airport on scheduled services.
Meanwhile, as had been speculated in recent days, QantasLink is to close its Boeing B717-200 bases in Cairns and Perth and instead centralise its operations in Melbourne.
The move will cost more than 160 local jobs but create 100 new positions in the Victorian capital. It will also see eight Boeing B717-200 aircraft relocate from Perth to Brisbane, with a further six to operate out of Melbourne – where there were previously no B717-200 aircraft operating!
Melbourne operations will also include up to three Dash-8-Q300 turboprops, while three larger Dash-8-Q400 turboprops will be moved from Melbourne to Sydney and Brisbane.
As also noted back in May this year, Qantas acquired National Jet Systems off Cobham Aviation Services, and effectively took 20 Boeing B717-200 aircraft back in-house, to be operated by its QantasLink regional subsidiary.
Cobham Aviation Services had previously operated the fleet for 15 years on behalf of QantasLink.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Michael M for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
All photos taken by Michael Malick ©