Starting June 21, 2021, Qantas will offer direct flights between Burnie and Melbourne for the first time in 15 years. The carrier further announced that they will reactivate five Embraer E190s, which will be based in Adelaide.
On Friday (May 7, 2021), Qantas announced the launch of new direst service between Burnie and Adelaide for the first time in 15 years. The carrier will offer seven weekly return flights starting June 21, 2021 and the route will be serviced with a 50-seat Q300 turboprop aircraft, adding 700 weekly seats. The announcement follows four other recently announced routes to Tasmania including Brisbane-Hobart, Sydney-Launceston, Perth Hobart and Canberra Hobart. To celebrate the launch of the new route, Qantas is offering one-way fares from $125 for bookings through May 9, 2021.
In Friday’s announcement, QantasLink’s CEO, John Gissing, said,
“We’re pleased to be adding Burnie to our map again to help support growing demand and offer travellers and the business community more choice. Tasmania has been popular with our customers since travel restrictions started to ease last year and these new flights will make it easier for travellers to experience the culture, natural beauty and wildlife of Burnie and its surrounds. Residents of the north west coast will be able to earn and use Qantas points on direct flights from Burnie to Melbourne and seamlessly connect on to our extensive domestic network. We’re promoting these new flights to millions of our frequent flyers across the country and think they’ll enjoy the benefits of our premium service, including complimentary food and drinks, baggage and lounge access before they fly out.”
Qantas further announced on Friday that they will activate five additional Embraer E190s, which will be based in Adelaide. The 94-seat E190s have a five hour range and will be deployed on Qantas’ network as part of a three-year deal with Alliance Airlines, under which Alliance will provide added capacity by up to 14 jets. The reactivated aircraft increases the number activated under the agreement to eight. By basing five newly activated aircraft in Adelaide, 200 jobs will be added, including pilots, cabin crew and engineers recruited by Alliance.
The aircraft will be painted with QantasLink livery and will help the airline build domestic capacity to 107 percent of pre-pandemic levels in FY2022. Qantas subsidiary Jetstar is expected to reach 120 percent of pre-COVID capacity due to increasing leisure demand. With the five aircraft based in Adelaide, Qantas will launch a new Adelaide-Gold Coast service in time for the school holidays. Starting June 25, 2021, Australians will be able to fly direct to Gold Coast with Qantas, with four weekly return flights, increasing to daily during school holiday peaks. To celebrate the new service, Qantas is offering special limited time one-way fares from $149 through May 9, 2021.
In the May 7, 2021 announcement, Qantas Group’s CEO, Alan Joyce, said,
“Basing these aircraft in Adelaide means we can service South Australia better and help bring more visitors to the State. The E190 is a great aircraft for the Adelaide market, with its size, range and economics opening up a number of new destinations that wouldn’t be viable with the larger 737 aircraft. Instead of one or two flights a day with a larger aircraft, we can offer three or four flights a day on the E190, which gives customers a lot more choice about when they travel.
“We’re continuing to see really positive signs of sustained recovery, with strong travel demand and forward bookings expected to see our domestic capacity back above 100 per cent of pre-COVID levels in the coming months. That’s great progress when you consider we were as low as 20 per cent of our normal flying levels at the height of lockdown. The return to flying has huge flow on benefits, helping to boost tourism which is so vital to local economies and businesses around the country.”
Also commenting on the new Adelaide E190 base, South Austrian Premier Steven Marshall said,
“The establishment of an Embraer E190 aircraft base is a shot in the arm for the South Australian aviation industry. The base will create aviation and maintenance jobs, increase tourism and position Adelaide as Australia’s regional aviation hub. These are important priorities for our state’s economic development and represent a strong step forward in creating direct regional and international aviation connectivity.”
Further commenting on the Adelaide expansion, Alliance Airlines’ Managing Director, Scott McMillian, added,
“Alliance is excited to be involved in further expansion of services from Adelaide. The increase in our wet lease operations for Qantas will grow our existing Adelaide base and provide additional employment opportunities for new and existing South Australian staff.”
The five Embraer E190s can carry almost a million more passengers to and from Adelaide annually. Use of these aircraft will free up Qantas’ Boeing 737s, which will be redeployed across the carrier’s domestic network, as all domestic crew members have now returned to work. Qantas also announced several capacity increases for South Australia, including an additional daily return from Adelaide to Sydney and Melbourne. The airline will also more than double service between Adelaide to Mt. Gambier, from five to 12 weekly flights from July 1st, 2021.