Qantas is returning to Ballina Byron Gateway Airport, which also serves nearby Byron Bay, with daily QantasLink flights from Sydney. It’s one of several new QantasLink domestic routes that will launch on 29 March, 2020.
The QantasLink Sydney-Ballina flights are timed with business travellers in mind. The Dash 8 Q300 services will depart Sydney for Ballina in the evening, returning to Sydney the following morning. Here is the schedule:
- QF2062 Sydney 17:10 – Ballina (Byron) 18:50
- QF2063 Ballina (Byron) 08:15 – Sydney 10:00
Flights are currently on sale for $115 return until 23 January, for travel between 29 March and 25 October 2020. Classic Flight Reward seats are also available on many dates for 8,000 Qantas points + $37. The Economy Flex fares, which earn 20 status credits, are also quite well-priced at $188 one-way.
This is the first time Qantas has flown to Ballina since Jetstar took over the route 15 years ago. Jetstar will continue to operate from both Sydney and Melbourne to Ballina alongside the new QantasLink flight. As it happens, the Jetstar flights from Sydney to Ballina will be 25 minutes faster due to the aircraft being used.
“Byron Bay continues to be an incredibly popular destination for holidaymakers of all types. We’ve seen more and more luxury hotels established in recent years and we think it’s the right time for Qantas to again fly directly to Ballina,” Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David said.
“Our frequent flyers have been asking for this for some time and we think they’ll enjoy the option of flying on Qantas and the benefits our premium service offers including lounge access before they fly out of Sydney.”
Qantas does not operate a lounge at Ballina Byron Gateway Airport.
Virgin Australia is currently the only full-service airline on the Sydney-Ballina route, and will remain the only airline to offer Business class. However, the timing of Virgin’s daily flight is not ideal for business travellers as it operates during the middle of the afternoon.
Other new QantasLink & Virgin Australia routes
QantasLink will also launch new flights from Sydney to Mildura and Brisbane-Tamworth from 29 March 2020. In addition, service on the Sydney-Bendigo route will increase from daily to 10x weekly.
At the same time as Qantas begins flying from Brisbane to Tamworth, Virgin Australia will more than halve its Sydney-Tamworth services from twice daily to just 6x per week.
QantasLink is able to add these additional routes using the five Dash 8 Q300 aircraft that have recently returned to Australia after Jetstar withdrew from regional routes in New Zealand.
With the extra capacity, there is a possibility of even more new QantasLink routes launching in the near future. Sydney-Orange and Sydney-Griffith are rumoured as possible starters.
Meanwhile, Virgin has just started selling tickets on its new route from Melbourne to Kununurra in Western Australia, which will operate 3 times per week during the Australian winter.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: New domestic routes