Qantas is now offering 19 flights per week in and out of the Armidale Regional Airport in the latest big step to a gradual return to pre pandemic flights in the region.
The increase in flights announced by Qantas means that passengers can now go to Sydney and return in the same day. The early 6.30am departure from Armidale and the 8.10pm arrival has now been reinstated to the daily schedule. This also means that people can arrive from Sydney at 9.50am and depart at 4.55pm opening up business visitation and increased participation in day events and conferencing.
Armidale Mayor Ian Tiley said the increase in the daily flight schedule demonstrates a progressive return to normality.
“This is an encouraging step that should help build some confidence in the community to return to regular air travel,” said Cr Tiley.
“The airline industry, including airport operations has been decimated by COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic Council has lost $1.2 million in revenue. These additional flights should see some much needed revenue return.”
Qantas is introducing Fly Flexible which aims to mitigate the cost burden of a flight change fee (circa $90.00) if passengers circumstances change. The initiative should provide a level of assurance to consumers reluctant to fly due to snap border closures, and hotspot lockdowns. Qantas is extending this to any circumstance with unlimited changes with no change fee – as long as it is an equivalent ticket price.