Qantas will increase flights between the ACT and Queensland following the lifting of border restrictions, including introducing a new seasonal route between Canberra and the Gold Coast.
From 25 September, for the first time in more than two decades, the flying kangaroo will operate up to four flights between Canberra and the Gold Coast.
The national carrier will also increase flights between Canberra and Brisbane from four flights per week to 14 flights, adding an extra 2200 seats each week.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the new four-week seasonal service was aimed at increasing tourism to the popular south east region of Queensland.
“This new flight means you leave Canberra at lunch and by mid-afternoon you can be sitting on the beach enjoying everything the Gold Coast has to offer.
“As the national carrier, we’re proud to be offering this new service from the nation’s capital, all taking off just in time for school holidays.
“We know there is significant pent up demand for domestic travel with Australians wanting to explore their own backyard. We’ll monitor demand on the route and if it proves successful, we could look to operating flights over the summer school holiday period.”
Gold Coast Airport COO Marion Charlton welcomed the Qantas Gold Coast-Canberra service, and the lifting of border restrictions by the Queensland Government to the ACT more generally.
“This is another positive step for us and comes at the right time in the lead up to school holidays. It is great to have Qantas back flying between the Gold Coast and Canberra,” she said.
The new Gold Coast services will operate on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday with fares starting at $189 one way. The flights will be operated by a dual class Boeing 717 featuring 12 Business Class seats and 98 seats in Economy.
Flights will depart Canberra at 12pm and arrive in the Gold Coast at 1.40pm before departing Gold Coast at 2.20pm arriving back in Canberra at 4.10pm
The new interstate flights come as Qantas steps up its calls for border openings based on medical risk assessments and a common definition of what constitutes a COVID hotspot.
The national carrier has launched a petition inviting employees to show their support for a safe reopening of domestic borders. More than 54,000 people have now signed up.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Qantas has introduced a number of initiatives to encourage customers to book with greater flexibility, as well as to improve safety and peace-of-mind when travelling domestically through its Fly Well program.