• Joe Breitfeller

Qantas to Resume Flights Between Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast Following Border Reopening

Following the announcement of the border reopening between Queensland and Victoria, the flying kangaroo will restart direct flights from Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast. Qantas will offer twice-daily service on the route from December 17, 2020.

QantasLink Boeing 717 - Courtesy Qantas

On Wednesday (November 25, 2020), Qantas announced that as a result of the border reopening between Queensland and Victoria, they will resume twice-daily flights between Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast starting December 17, 2020. The seasonal flights will run through January 31, 2020 and the route will be serviced with a two-class Boeing 717, offering over 1,500 seats weekly. From December 1st, 2020, the flying kangaroo will also restart flights from Sydney to Maroochydore with five weekly flights, increasing to daily service from December 18th. Jetstar will also resume service to Maroochydore with 44 weekly flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. In Wednesday’s announcement, QantasLink’s CEO, John Gissing, said,

“Queensland opening its borders to Greater Sydney and Victoria means we’re able to launch hundreds of additional services along the eastern seaboard to some of the most popular tourism destinations. We moved quickly to add flights to Queensland, and we are now expecting to be at 60 per cent of our pre-COVID-19 domestic capacity by the Christmas peak. We’re pleased to be able to add new routes where there is demand. These new flights are a huge win for local tourism operators who will benefit from an influx of visitors and help us to get more of our people back to work.”

Last week, Qantas also launched a new route between Sunshine Coast and Canberra with three weekly flights, marking the first time the carrier has served the Sunshine Coast since last March. Also commenting on Wednesday’s announcement, Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, added,

“We welcome the return of this seasonal service which makes it possible for Victorians to jump on a plane in the morning and be relaxing on a Sunshine Coast beach by lunchtime,” the Premier said. Victorians have earned their time in the sun and we look forward to welcoming them to the Sunshine Coast for a summer holiday. COVID-19 has been tough on Queensland’s tourism industry, but our strong health response means we’re able to fast-track our economic recovery plan.”

Suncoast Airport’s CEO, Andrew Brodie, further stated,

“To have Qantas servicing Melbourne from the Sunshine Coast is a real coup, offering passengers more choice and highlighting the increasing diversity of the Sunshine Coast market, with a rapidly growing business sector. It is also a fantastic opportunity for our local tourism sector, delivering high value visitors to our region to explore our beautiful beaches, magnificent hinterland and relaxed coastal towns. And of course, it offers Sunshine Coast locals the chance to explore all that Australia’s cultural capital has to offer, including world class festivals; a vibrant food and wine scene; and iconic sporting events.”

Since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Qantas has introduced a comprehensive health and safety program called ‘Fly Well’ to ensure the wellbeing of guests and team members throughout their journey. Additionally, the airline has implemented a new level of booking flexibility, including the ability to move a flight free of charge, so customers can plan their travel with confidence.

Source: Qantas