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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Qantas to increase flights from Canberra this month

Qantas has announced it will triple the number of weekly return flights between Canberra and the three Eastern mainland capital cities by the end of this month.

The announcement follows a statement from Canberra Airport on Tuesday this week (2 June), which outlined the availability of restriction-free travel between Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney from 1 June.

The carrier will also increase its return flights between Canberra and Brisbane; however, border restrictions remain in place and travellers require permission to enter from the Queensland Government.

Currently, there are only five return flights from Canberra to each of the three Eastern mainland capitals per week.

However, weekly return flights will increase to 19 flights to Sydney, 16 to Melbourne, and there will be 10 weekly return flights to Brisbane.

Canberra Airport’s Head of Aviation, Michael Thomson, said he was pleased to see more flights resuming between the capital cities and hoped to see them increase even further.

“[Qantas flights] have been on a thin schedule up until recently and they have announced they will be expanding those flights which means it will be possible to get to places for business and back in a day,” he said.

“It means if people want to travel for holidays, they can do that with no restrictions anymore after them being lifted recently.

“We like to think there will be more increases by the end of the month.”

There has been no information released from other major carriers; however, Mr Thomson said he would expect Virgin may be looking to do the same.

“We haven’t seen any discussion yet, I would imagine Virgin is thinking about it but given it is in the middle of a sale process we might not see it for a while,” he said.

Domestic travel restrictions in ACT, NSW and Queensland were eased as of 1 June.

Mr Thomson said the increase in flights would be a positive step in the recovery of Canberra’s economy. 

“It is not important just for Canberran people leaving but also for people coming into our economy,” he said.

“Whether that be for business or leisure, we know our town, like everywhere else, has been challenged during this time so it will be welcomed by everyone including restaurants, attractions and the like.”

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