Canberra Airport has added yet another route out of the national capital as borders continue to reopen, with a carrier locked in to fly direct to Hobart from December.
Link Airways will provide four flights each week between Canberra and Hobart from 3 December, with the possibility of an earlier departure if the Tasmanian Government opens its border to ACT residents before its set date of 1 December.
Canberra Airport’s head of aviation Michael Thomson welcomed the news on Tuesday (29 September), so soon after direct routes to the Queensland Sunshine Coast began last Friday (25 September).
“Our research has shown 55,000 people in 2018 travelled between Canberra and Hobart, and that route has increased in numbers by about 7% year on year,” Mr Thomson said.
“We’re excited to partner with a local Canberra business to connect travellers with Tasmania.
“It is the second airline in less than a week to announce new services from the capital, adding further confidence that we are restarting aviation in Canberra.”
The 34-passenger Saab 340B Plus Aircraft will initially fly four times per week, with plans for the service to grow to 11 return flights weekly by 2021.
The direct flight time between the two capital cities will be two hours, shedding up to three hours from previous trips that included a stopover.
Link Airways airline manager Jeff Boyd said the service would be a perfect fill to the void in travel in recent months.
“We believe we have the right-sized aircraft to provide the frequency of services that people need,” he said.
“We believe our service is the perfect one for people who have that pent-up demand to travel – in both directions, from Canberra and Tasmania.”
ACT Labor leader Andrew Barr previously said the Tasmanian Premier had indicated opening their borders to certain states and territories before 1 December.
Link Airways will look to bring the commencement of flights forward if that decision is made.
Mr Thomson said Canberra Airport was still in discussions with multiple carriers about flights from Canberra.
“I think COVID times have really required airlines and airports to do things differently and we are continuing to do that,” he said.
“We would love to see more destinations come on as borders start opening. There are lots of opportunity and lots of discussions going on there.”
Tickets from 3 December are available online now and prices start from $219 one way.