Over the past couple of months, Qantas has announced a couple of routes to greater expand their regional QantasLink route network. For those interested, the other three routes are being introduced in New South Wales and Victoria. From the 29th of March this year, Qlink will be starting a service connecting Sydney and Mildura and the next day on the 30th, QantasLink will be increasing their Bendigo to Sydney which is currently already operating and is quite popular.
On top of these routes, the airline has decided that the demand is there for them to restart their Sydney – Ballina service which hasn’t operated for 15 years.
The new destination is a city in New South Wales with a flight time of 45 minutes.
Qantas will be introducing a new service connecting regional Orange and Sydney
As stated above, Orange is a city located about 255 kilometres away which will take you about three and a half hours if you were to drive. The town has a population of just over 37,000 and is the 34th largest town in Australia.
The new service will be starting on the 1st of May, and the airline is putting these fares on sale for a limited time as they do with all of the other regional routes that get announced.
Per QantasLink CEO John Gissing:
“After years of locals calling for the flying kangaroo, the iconic red tail will touch down at Orange Airport for the first time in May,” Mr Gissing said.
“Orange is a thriving place with an increasingly diverse economy. There’s growing demand for a premium airline to connect business and leisure travellers.
“These additional flights will make it easier for Sydney residents and domestic and international tourists to discover one of NSW’s most beautiful regions, with its world-class restaurants and wineries.
The airline will, of course, be using their regional Dash 8 fleet with both the Q200 and Q300 operating the service. Interestingly, on the towns council website, there’s already a photo of a 717 on the tarmac, I imagine it would have been a one-off but I found that interesting nonetheless.
The Dash 8 Q200 features 36 seats in an all-economy class configuration with each seat featuring a pitch of 30-inches and a width of 17-inches. The slightly larger Q300 features 50 seats, and the specifications are the same.
It’s quite apparent to see the regional demand is growing and Qantas is going to fill the space. At the time of writing, the only other airline operating flights from Orange airport is Regional Express (REX) with smaller Saab 340’s so this is quite big news.
I’m also quite surprised there wasn’t any expansion in Queensland, but that may happen further down the line I’d imagine.
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