The inaugural Qantas flight from Sydney to Gold Coast touched down this morning, bringing a premium flying experience back to the region.
From today, Qantas offers three daily return services between the Gold Coast and Sydney operated by a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Officer Lyell Strambi said Qantas’ return to the Gold Coast has received an overwhelming level of support, translating into record sales.
“In the two days after Qantas put this route on sale, we sold an unprecedented 24,000 airfares and we have seen continued strong bookings for both premium leisure and business travellers,” Mr Strambi said.
“The new services will bring more tourists and business travellers to the region including many from Emirates’ international network, through the proposed global aviation partnership between the two airlines.
“We will be the only domestic airline operating out of the Gold Coast offering a meal and checked-in baggage to all passengers as part of their fare, no matter what time they are flying or which class they are in.
“Subject to regulatory approval, the partnership with Emirates stands to boost inbound tourism with Emirates flights feeding directly into the Qantas domestic network, including its direct Sydney-Gold Coast flights.
“This combines with flows from the new Jetstar Japan domestic network, making it easier for Japanese travellers to connect with an international Jetstar flights from Tokyo and Osaka to the Gold Coast.”
Mr Strambi said work on the Gold Coast Qantas Club had already commenced and the lounge was expected to open by the end of November.
“The new Qantas Club at Gold Coast Airport will be a key part of the travelling experience on this route. We will be able to cater for over 100 people and it will based on our award winning lounges around Australia.
“We have also installed Qantas Smarter Faster Check-In system, which will reduce queues at the airport.”
Qantas and Gold Coast Tourism will undertake a joint marketing campaign to attract more business and premium leisure travellers to the Gold Coast.
The campaign, which will be supported by Gold Coast Airport, will focus on the premium visitor market in New South Wales and Victoria in particular. It is due to launch in February 2013.
The first Qantas passengers onboard flight QF860 were able to experience the next generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft with the new Sky Interior, including state-of-the-art, touch screen in-flight entertainment from Panasonic for all passengers.