Qantas has revealed it will launch a new airline route it has not serviced in more than a decade.
The major airline will begin flights between Melbourne and the NSW harbour city of Newcastle as part of its push to increase domestic travel while international destinations remain in deep freeze.
Twelve direct flights per week will be added to the national carrier’s schedule between the two cities. The routes will be serviced by QantasLink Boeing 717s that have 125 seats.
Its latest addition is part of an increasing domestic network offered by Qantas, which has begun flights from major cities to destinations such as Byron Bay and Merimbula.
Regional destinations have become popular holiday spots while coronavirus restrictions prevent Australians from holidaying overseas.
Qantas anticipates adding Newcastle to its list will attract Victorians looking to visit the Hunter Valley wine region and Port Stephens.
QantasLink chief executive John Gissing said the new route would boost activity for businesses within the regional area of NSW.
“We know Australians want to travel, so we’ve been looking for opportunities to support new routes where there is demand and help deliver a boost for local businesses,” Mr Gissing said.
“These new services will bring more Victorians to Newcastle as well as the Port Stephens region and the world class Hunter Valley wineries.”
Mr Gissing also noted the Melbourne to Newcastle route would run at peak times to service corporate travel needs.
Due to the pandemic, Qantas has implemented an unlimited flight change policy until February 2022.
Qantas has also recently announced it will increase the frequency of flights between Newcastle and Brisbane.