Regional Carrier ups Capacity in Queensland

QantasLink has announced new 115-seat Boeing 717 jet services to Rockhampton and Gladstone from next month.

The regional carrier will also be increasing flights from Brisbane to Mackay, Emerald, Roma, Bundaberg and providing more capacity between Cairns and Weipa, Cairns and Horn Island and between Townsville and Cloncurry/Mount Isa.

LNP shadow tourism minister Jann Stuckey has welcomed the increase in flights. “The LNP recognises the importance of better services on regional air routes, not just for fly-in-fly-out mining and engineering staff but also for regional communities and regional tourism which needs all the help it can get.”    

The announcement to introduce Boeing 717 services to Rockhampton on 15 March has been hailed as great long awaited news by the region’s peak tourism and economic development organisation, Capricorn Enterprise.

Two major airlines service Rockhampton Airport with an annual capacity of up to 750,000 passengers. Virgin Australia currently provides more capacity than Qantaslink, largely attributed to its provision of a jet service and direct flights to Sydney as well as Brisbane. Qantaslink today announced two new 115-seat B717 services in Queensland which will provide 598 additional seats to Rockhampton, offering over 8400 seats per week.

CEO of Capricorn Enterprise Mary Carroll said, “Considering the amount of corporate travel into the Rockhampton airport, it is absolutely essential that both major airlines provide jet services with business class capacity. This announcement is long overdue considering the competitive advantage Virgin Australia has held over Qantaslink over the past few months in regards to provision of jet services.”

“The business community have been wanting a jet service by Qantaslink for some time and it is refreshing to see their call has been answered.” she said.

Rockhampton Airport is the 12th busiest airport in Australia, with capacity ramping up in neighbouring ports of Mackay, Gladstone and Emerald.

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