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First of Qantas’ new domestic routes takes off from CBR

Qantas’ first Canberra to the Sunshine Coast flight took off this afternoon, as one of three new routes introduced from the national capital this month.

Taking off from Canberra at 3pm today (19 November), the 110-seat Boeing 717 aircraft flies for just under two hours and arrived at the Sunshine Coast at 3.50pm local time.

QantasLink CEO John Gissing met with the Canberra Airport crew before the flight’s departure, and said he was thrilled to see more flight options for Australians to explore domestic destinations.  

“We are thrilled to be launching these new routes from Canberra and our crew are really looking forward to getting back in the air and welcoming our customers back onboard,” he said.  

“With international borders still closed, we know there is significant pent-up demand with Australians wanting to take a holiday in their own backyard.”

The Canberra to Sunshine Coast route was announced alongside direct flights to Hobart and Cairns from the national capital earlier this month.

The flights to Cairns will launch on 21 November, while flights to Hobart will take off from 4 December.

By mid-December, Qantas will operate over 100 flights out of Canberra Airport, after dropping to just 15 flights per week amid the pandemic lockdown.

Mr Gissing said flights to the Sunshine Coast, which will operate three times per week, were expected to be in high demand after the recent success of the carrier’s Canberra to Gold Coast route. 

“We expect these new flights will be popular with Canberra travellers looking to visit the pristine beaches and natural wonders of the Sunshine Coast and Far North Queensland,” he said.

“The flights are also another step towards our recovery, drive much-needed tourism and get more people back to work.”

Qantas’ announcement come following Link Airways’ Canberra to Hobart flights, which commenced on 6 November, and Alliance Airlines’ double destination service to the Sunshine Coast and onto Cairns, which started in October.

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