Qantas will launch direct flights to Coffs Harbour from Melbourne and Brisbane as well as increase the aircraft size on one of its daily Sydney services from 1 April, just in time for the Easter holidays.
The major capacity boost coincides with the expected start of the lease of Coffs Harbour Airport from Coffs Harbour Council to Palisade Investment Partners.
The services include:
Up to seven weekly services between Coffs Harbour and Melbourne, operated by a 110 seat Boeing 717;
Four weekly services between Coffs Harbour and Brisbane, operated by a 74 seat Dash 8 Q400; and
The larger 110 seat Boeing 717 aircraft being deployed between Coffs Harbour and Sydney at least seven times a week.
The major capacity boost will deliver around 2,600 additional seats for the region every week, or 135,000 seats a year.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said these new routes would provide Australians with more options to plan their next holiday in their own backyard.
“With international borders closed, we want to make it even easier for travellers to holiday around Australia,” said Mr Gissing.
“The beautiful coastal hub of Coffs Harbour continues to be incredibly popular with travellers, so it makes sense to provide direct connections from other capital cities to make it even more accessible.
“These new flights are good news for local businesses, hospitality and tour operators, helping drive tourism and reviving the industry that has been hurting from COVID-19.”
Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight said the Qantas announcement was a great signal for the future of Coffs Harbour Airport.
“This is an incredibly auspicious start to our partnership with Palisade Investment Partners and it’s great to see we’re getting runs on the board so quickly,” Ms Knight said.
“Having regular flights to Melbourne restored and increased services on both the Sydney and Brisbane routes is going to provide a fantastic opportunity to boost tourism and the broader economy of the region.
“It’s fabulous news for the Coffs Harbour community and the entire Coffs Coast.”
CEO of the management company that will oversee Coffs Harbour Airport, Andrew Brodie, said his team was delighted to work with Qantas and Coffs Harbour City Council to secure additional flights in the lead up to the lease of the Airport to Palisade Investment Partners.
“We are passionate about the role Coffs Harbour Airport will play in helping the region reach its potential as a vibrant hub by building connections and supporting growth,” Mr Brodie said.
“Direct services to Melbourne is a massive coup for the Coffs community, with Qantas now giving direct access to three fantastic state capital cities, supporting a growing business travel market and providing important links to family and friends.
“It is also a fantastic opportunity for the local tourism industry to target new and growing markets, with these services set to deliver high value visitors to the Coffs Coast region eager to explore the beautiful beaches, stunning national parks and relaxed coastal towns.”
Qantas is offering a $129 one way launch sale fare to Brisbane and Melbourne, for periods of travel between April and October.