Coffs Harbour Airport today welcomed the first direct Qantas service from Melbourne which is part of a major capacity boost for the region just in time for the Easter holidays.
The daily service from Melbourne to Coffs Harbour is operated by a 110 seat Boeing 717 jet and will provide 80,000 seats between the two destinations each year.
Qantas has also boosted capacity on its Sydney-Coffs Harbour route , upgrading at least one service a day to the larger Boeing 717 jet during the April school holidays.
Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Denise Knight said the new services provided enormous economic possibilities for the region.
“Having a direct link to Melbourne and increased capacity on the Sydney route is going to provide a fantastic opportunity to boost tourism and the broader economy of the region,” Ms Knight said.
“In particular, the Melbourne service presents an exciting prospect for our local tourism sector to welcome a whole new audience to the wonderful Coffs Coast.”
Gareth Williamson, General Manager of Aviation Business Development for Agilis Airports, the management group which will oversee Coffs Harbour Airport said he was thrilled to welcome the new Qantas services to Coffs Harbour Airport.
“We believe Coffs Harbour Airport will play a critical role in helping the region reach its potential as a vibrant hub by building connections and supporting growth,” Mr Williamson said.
“Direct Qantas daily services to Melbourne via a Boeing 717 jet is a massive coup for the Coffs community, boosting opportunities for tourism, supporting business travel and providing important links to family and friends.
“The new Melbourne service will deliver about 80,000 new seats into the region, providing a significant boost to the local economy and attracting high-value travellers who stay longer and spend more.”
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the new route reinforced the airline’s commitment to Australian tourism.
“As the national carrier, we have a responsibility to drive tourism and help the local businesses, hospitality and tour operators that have been hurting from COVID-19,” said Mr Gissing.
“These flights will help more travellers access the popular coastal region of Coffs Harbour, and also provide more options for locals with the new Melbourne route offering the only direct flight from Coffs Harbour to the Victorian capital.
“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.”
The four-times-weekly services between Coffs Harbour and Brisbane, to be operated by a 74 seat Dash 8 Q400; has been postponed until 29 April, as a result of the recent lockdown in Brisbane.