Qantas announced last week that it will add two additional domestic routes to destinations in Queensland. From October, the airline will begin long-awaited direct flights between Melbourne and the Gold Coast. Flights from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast will also be added just in time for Christmas.

This comes as further good news for Queenslanders and visitors alike. Qantas also recently began flying directly to Hamilton Island, taking over the route from its low-cost offshoot Jetstar. This week Qantas will also begin flying directly to Tokyo from Brisbane.

Our members are understandably delighted by the announcements. The new flights between Gold Coast and Melbourne have been anticipated by our members since Qantas began direct flights from Sydney to the Gold Coast a few years ago. At the time that the Sydney-Gold Coast flights were re-introduced, Qantas had not flown to the Gold Coast at all for several years after handing all of its flights there over to Jetstar. Qantas returned with much fanfare, re-opening the Gold Coast Qantas Club and even offering status matches to Gold Coast residents. The investment seems to have paid off, as they are now not only adding a second Gold Coast route, but increasing the number of existing Sydney-Gold Coast flights too.

Fantastic News! This route will sure be a success no doubt as OOL has been increasing in popularity for sometime for MEL based leisure travellers.

Qantas’ new route between Sydney and the Sunshine Coast adds to the Jetstar services already operating on the route. Qantas had operated its own services to the Sunshine Coast in the past but handed them all over to Jetstar a number of years ago. Flyers from the Sunshine Coast now have another choice of airline, to the delight of our Sunshine Coast-based members.

Having QF back on the Maroochydore run is certainly good news for those of us who do not relish JQ.

Qantas recently re-instated flights between Sydney and Hamilton Island, replacing the existing Jetstar service on the route. It seems that Qantas is realising that Jetstar, a low-cost and low-service airline, is not always the most airline to place on the more premium leisure routes. These new additions to Qantas’ route network are designed to appeal to business travellers in destinations where the airline has chosen to focus its attention largely on the leisure market in recent years.

The new flights are made possible by minor reductions in flights within Western Australia, as well as improvements in the efficient use of aircraft. Qantas will soon reduce its aircraft turnaround times from forty minutes to thirty-five minutes by using both the forward and rear doors of the aircraft for boarding.

I have read elsewhere (can’t find link currently) that from Feb ’16 they are leasing two more 717s (not sure where/who from) and that WA (and Qld/Mackay ) mining FIFO slowdown has reduced requirements so have freed up airframes for these routes.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

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