Qantas has been awarded the federal government contract to operate regular flights from mainland Australia to Norfolk Island. Qantas will take over from Air New Zealand on the routes from Sydney and Brisbane to Norfolk Island for at least the next three months, and there is a possibility for the Qantas contract to be extended.
Until now, Air New Zealand has held the federal government licence to service Norfolk Island, an Australian overseas territory. But the airline has had to suspend flights multiple times in recent months whenever the Australian government has suspended quarantine-free flights from New Zealand to Australia. This is because Air New Zealand uses New Zealand-based crew for these services.
Qantas has already stepped in twice to operate special rescue flights to and from Norfolk Island when this has happened over recent months. But amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Air New Zealand’s ability to maintain a reliable schedule, Qantas has now been awarded the federal government contract to service Norfolk Island until at least June 2021.
From Friday 19 March 2021, Qantas will operate three weekly flights each from Sydney and Brisbane to Norfolk Island using Boeing 737-800s with Economy and Business Class.
The following flights will operate from Sydney to Norfolk Island on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays:
- QF179 Sydney 09:30 – Norfolk Island 13:10
- QF180 Norfolk Island 14:10 – Sydney 16:00
At the time of writing, the Brisbane-Norfolk Island schedule was not yet been published.
Qantas fares from Sydney to Norfolk Island start at $412 one-way and flights from Brisbane from $390 one-way, including checked baggage. Connecting flights are available from other Australian cities.
In some more good news for frequent flyers, Qantas Classic Flight Reward seats are also available from Sydney and Brisbane to Norfolk Island. Economy class seats cost 12,000 Qantas points one-way, plus around $125 in taxes & carrier charges. Business reward seats cost 27,600 Qantas points plus taxes, one-way.
Although these are not technically international flights, they will depart from the international terminals in Sydney and Brisbane. This means you may not have access to any lounges on departure, as the Qantas international lounges at both airports remain closed.
Norfolk Island remains open for business and is one of few “overseas” destinations currently available to Australian tourists.
“With international borders closed, we know Australians are looking for new holiday experiences and Norfolk Island is a destination that has so much to offer,” Qantas Domestic & International CEO Andrew David said.
“The flights also provide an ongoing service for residents to get to the mainland.
“We’ll be promoting these new flights to millions of our frequent flyers across the country, with seamless connections from our large domestic network through Sydney or Brisbane, who will have the opportunity to earn and redeem points on flights to Norfolk Island,” Mr David said.
Passengers arriving from mainland Australia are not currently required to quarantine when arriving at Norfolk Island, but are required to apply for a Norfolk Island Entry Pass 24-72 hours before departing for the island.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qantas to Norfolk Island