Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia have all announced the resumption of new domestic routes as Tasmania opens its borders again to most of the country for the first time since March.
Tasmania reopened its border on Monday to travellers from Queensland, SA, NT, WA and ACT. People arriving from these states and territories no longer have to quarantine for two weeks, but do need to register their travel plans and contact details with the new Tas e-Travel system.
Tasmania also plans to reopen its border with NSW from Friday 6 November. From this date, Qantas will immediately resume flying direct from Sydney to Hobart 11 times per week.
Qantas is also launching two new routes to Tasmania that it did not previously operate. From 4 December, Qantas will launch four weekly Boeing 717 flights from Brisbane to Hobart. And from the same date, Qantas will also introduce three weekly Sydney-Launceston flights on Boeing 717s. The QantasLink Boeing 717 aircraft have 98 Economy and 12 Business seats.
Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David the airline would keep a close eye on demand and keep the Sydney-Launceston route permanently if it’s successful.
Jetstar will also introduce a new route to Tasmania, with Gold Coast-Hobart flights commencing on 1 December 2020. This flight will be served by an Airbus A320 three times per week.
With the launch of these new flights, more than 10% of the Qantas Group’s published domestic capacity for December will be used on flights between Tasmania and mainland Australia. That’s a good sign for the recovery of Tasmania’s tourism industry.
Link Airways is also commencing direct flights from Hobart to Canberra from next month.
Virgin Australia too announced the resumption of two more domestic routes today, albeit outside of Tasmania. Virgin will resume twice-weekly flights between Brisbane and Alice Springs from 3 November. Virgin will also return to Emerald, with five weekly Brisbane-Emerald flights resuming from 23 November. The Emerald flights will be operateed by Alliance Airlines, so you won’t be able to use Future Flight credits to book a seat on that route.
“The expansion of our network to include Emerald and an additional route into Alice Springs recognises our long-standing commitment to regional Australia and will deliver choice and convenience for those communities and businesses,” Virgin Australia Group Chief Commercial Officer John MacLeod said.