Newcastle | Published on 15th March 2021 at 7:43

The Hunter region will benefit from more direct flights to Melbourne with Qantas today launching a new route from Newcastle to the Victorian capital.

The first Qantas flight connecting the two cities in more than ten years departed Newcastle for Melbourne this morning, marked by celebrations for customers at the gate.

The national carrier will operate 12 weekly return flights with its 125-seat Boeing 717 aircraft, adding more than 3,000 seats between the two cities each week.

QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the new flights were good news for local businesses in Newcastle and the Hunter region.

“We know Australians want to travel so we’ve been looking for opportunities to support new routes where there is demand and help deliver a boost for local businesses,” said Mr Gissing.

“These new services will bring more Victorians to Newcastle as well as the Port Stephens region and the world class Hunter Valley wineries.

“We expect this service will also be popular with our corporate travellers based in Newcastle. Flights are available at peak times in both directions and customers will enjoy the benefits of our premium service, including complimentary food and drinks, baggage and lounge access before they fly out.”

The new route adds to Qantas’ flights between Newcastle and Brisbane, with services progressively increasing over the coming weeks to a total of 24 return flights per week by the end of March.

Qantas is offering unlimited flight changes through to at least February 2022, for flights booked until at least the end of April 2021. The flight date can be changed to any available for sale at the time (up to 355 days in advance). Qantas will waive the change fee however a fare difference may apply.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Qantas has introduced a number of initiatives improve safety and peace-of-mind when travelling domestically through its Fly Well program, including masks on board, hand sanitising stations and enhanced aircraft cleaning.