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Hooray! QANTAS and Jetstar Sunshine Coast flights!

November 26, 2020 Aviation, Headline News No Comments

Following the announcement of the border opening between Queensland and Victoria, QANTAS has announced that it will recommence direct flights from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast from 17 December, with the flying kangaroo operating a daily service with passengers arriving on the Sunshine Coast at lunchtime.

Initially a seasonal service to 31 January 2021 but with Sunshine Coast tourism operator hoping for increased services, this is the first time in three years that QANTAS has flown on the route, being operated by a two-class Boeing 717 aircraft, offering more than 1,500 seats each week, with QANTAS looking to extend the service if there is strong demand.

QANTAS will also restart flights from Sydney to Maroochydore on 1 December with five services a week, increasing to daily flights from 18 December.

Jetstar will also recommence services to Maroochydore operating up 44 flights a week from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

QANTAS Link CEO John Gissing said the services would offer customers a premium leisure option just in time for the busy school holiday period, adding, “Queensland opening its borders to Greater Sydney and Victoria means we’re able to launch hundreds of additional services along the eastern seaboard to some of the most popular tourism destinations,” and “We moved quickly to add flights to Queensland, and we are now expecting to be at 60 per cent of our pre- COVID-19 domestic capacity by the Christmas peak.”

He also said,  “We’re pleased to be able to add new routes where there is demand.” “hese new flights are a huge win for local tourism operators who will benefit from an influx of visitors and help us to get more of our people back to work.”

QANTAS has also launched a new route between Sunshine Coast and Canberra, operating three times per week – the first time QANTAS landed in the Sunshine Coast since March.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland’s $15 million Aviation Recovery Fund would support direct flights between Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast ahead of the festive season, saying, “We welcome the return of this seasonal service which makes it possible for Victorians to jump on a plane in the morning and be relaxing on a Sunshine Coast beach by lunchtime,” and “Victorians have earned their time in the sun and we look forward to welcoming them to the Sunshine Coast for a summer holiday.”

She also said, “COVID-19 has been tough on Queensland’s tourism industry but our strong health response means we’re able to fast-track our economic recovery plan.”

Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Andrew Brodie said the Sunshine Coast had traditionally been a desirable destination for Melbournians and expected the new service to be popular with the Coast’s business community, adding, “To have QANTAS servicing Melbourne from the Sunshine Coast is a real coup, offering passengers more choice and highlighting the increasing diversity of the Sunshine Coast market, with a rapidly growing business sector,” adding,  “It is also a fantastic opportunity for our local tourism sector, delivering high value visitors to our region to explore our beautiful beaches, magnificent hinterland and relaxed coastal towns.

He also said, “And of course, it offers Sunshine Coast locals the chance to explore all that Australia’s cultural capital has to offer, including world class festivals; a vibrant food and wine scene; and iconic sporting events.”

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, QANTAS has introduced a number of initiatives to help customers to book with greater flexibility, including allowing a flight to be moved free of charge, as well as introducing additional health and safety measures through its Fly Well program.

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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