Date Posted: 06/01/2019
As 2018 was coming to an end Qantas set their sights on an expansion to their current regional services, with QantasLink announcing that it will operate a new service between Bendigo and Sydney. This will become the first ever regular passenger service and also the first commercial service from Bendigo Airport in more than 60 years.
The new direct flights will operate from 31 March 2019 with QantasLink relying upon its medium sized turboprop aircraft, the Bombardier Dash 8 Q300. Six weekly services will operate each week, except for Saturday. Qantas mentioned in a media release that during the peak summer season flights will become a daily occurrence.
Currently Qantas has sixteen Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 aircraft in their fleet, with all of them configured into an all economy cabin. The aircraft can seat up to 50 passengers in a 2-2 layout. With the flights operating six times each week it allows for 600 revenue seats each week between the two destinations and up to 700 seats once increased to a daily service.
Flying one of their Q300 turboprop aircrafts to Bendigo to help mark the announcement QantasLink Chief Executive Officer – John Gissing said “As Australia’s largest regional airline, we know we have an important role to play in connecting communities and making air travel more accessible”
The State Government has tipped in $4.7 million from its Regional Aviation Fund and the City of Greater Bendigo has chipped in $5 million into recent upgrades to the airport including a new hangar and an upgraded runway. As the new runway upgrades are now complete the launch of services will begin in the coming months.
The new route will cut travelling times down dramatically with the trip from Bendigo to Melbourne taking two hours. Demand from local businesses and industry leaders were the key force in getting QantasLink to provide a more convenient way to do business in Sydney and an easy way to connect the two cities.
“We look forward to working together to promote destination Bendigo to travellers from Australia and around the world, driving the tourism and economic growth which is so vital to the region” Said John Gissing, QantasLink Chief Executive Officer.
The treasurer of Victoria, Tim Pallas mentioned that this new service will create jobs, boost tourism and create some great opportunities for business in Bendigo. The addition of these flights will attract over 15,000 visitors to Bendigo each year and will help out local cafes, restaurants, motels and the greater Bendigo economy.