FlyPelican to launch Canberra-Port Macquarie flights

With non-stop flights from November, Canberra and the beach destination of Port Macquarie will become better-connected.

By Chris Chamberlin, October 1 2020
FlyPelican to launch Canberra-Port Macquarie flights

Regional airline FlyPelican will expand its network out of the national capital with new non-stop flights between Canberra and Port Macquarie from November 1.

Served by the 19-seat Jetstream 32 turboprop, the route will operate twice per week, with launch fares starting at $149 one-way.

“The initial twice weekly services will be convenient for the leisure and business traveller,” says FlyPelican CEO Marty Hawley, who also claims that the new non-stop route will “reduce the travel time by many hours.”

However, with FlyPelican’s non-stop service scheduled at 1hr 40min, and one-stop QantasLink flights from Canberra to Port Macquarie via Sydney taking around three hours including transit time, the time saving is more realistically 80 minutes in each direction.

Here’s the FlyPelican flight schedule, which varies by day of the week.

Route

Operating days

Departs

Arrives

Canberra to Port Macquarie (FP3104)

Sundays

1:30pm

3:10pm

Canberra to Port Macquarie (FP3105)

Thursdays

2:20pm

4pm

Port Macquarie to Canberra (FP1035)

Sundays

4pm

5:40pm

Port Macquarie to Canberra (FP1036)

Thursdays

5pm

6:40pm

While FlyPelican doesn’t operate a frequent flyer program of its own, travellers booked on eligible fares can earn Virgin Australia Velocity Points, although not status credits.

Pelican Saver fares provide one Velocity Point per dollar spent; Pelican Flyer tickets earn 1.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent; Pelican Corporate bookings net 1.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent, and Pelican Flexible reservations unlock 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent.

Port Macquarie will be the third destination served by FlyPelican out of Canberra – joining Ballina and Newcastle – and its ninth overall.

The news follows Virgin Australia's exit from the Sydney-Port Macquarie route, as part of a broader restructure of its regional network.

Read: Virgin Australia scraps regional routes across NSW, VIC, QLD, NT

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 328

Also announced this week is that Link Airways are beginning a Canberra - Hobart service. This will be a two hour flight using a Saab 340B Plus aircraft. Canberra and Hobart haven't been linked with a non-stop service since Virgin pulled out in 2013.

ajd
ajd

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Nov 2014

Total posts 42

As a Canberran whose family is in Port Macquarie I'm very happy about this - but I wonder how sustainable and profitable it is long term. Will be interesting to see.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 174

Agree. The population of ACT and surrounding region may not sustain any higher frequency than 1-2 flights and the lack of flexibility limits business flyers option. 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1032

XWu this certainly ain’t aimed at the business flyer unless it coincided with day. It is all about tourism and Canberra’s catchment is around 500k.


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