Qantas ramps up flights to Townsville, Cairns, Hobart, Gold Coast

Seven new direct routes will slash connections so that you can spent more time on your holiday.

By David Flynn, May 25 2021
Qantas ramps up flights to Townsville, Cairns, Hobart, Gold Coast

With more Australians taking domestic holidays than ever before due to the country's international borders being closed, Qantas is ramping up its regional network to add seven all-new routes, with a strong focus on sunny Queensland.

Townsville, in tropical far north Queensland, will see fresh non-stop flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, along with a direct Adelaide-Cairns service.

It's no accident that these largely mirror the routes announced last week by challenger Virgin Australia, as both airlines fight for a larger slice of the domestic market.

Also on the Red Roo's regional roster are non-stop flights between Perth and the Gold Coast, Sydney and Uluru, and Adelaide and Hobart.

Most of these trips will take place on the nimble Embraer E190 jets leased by QantasLink from Alliance Airlines, with the 94-seat E-jets better suited to regional routes than the larger 174-seat Boeing 737.

However, the Sydney-Uluru and Perth-Gold Coast flights will be handled by a Boeing 737.

Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David said the new routes would support the growing demand for domestic tourism.

"As most international travel remains off limits for now, Australians are taking more regular holidays within the country and we expect these new direct flights to key tourism destinations will be popular with travellers."

"Previously, (people) travelling between these cities meant a connecting flight in the middle, but now they can fly direct and save at least an hour in the process."

Here's a rundown of what's new on Qantas' schedule:

Route Start date Return flights per week Aircraft
Adelaide – Townsville August 2021 3 per week Embraer 190
Adelaide – Cairns August 2021 4 per week Embraer E190
Adelaide – Hobart September 2021 Up to 7 per week Embraer E190
Sydney – Townsville September 2021 7 per week Embraer E190
Melbourne – Townsville September 2021 7 per week Embraer E190
Perth – Gold Coast September 2021 3 per week Boeing 737
Sydney – Uluru March 2022 5 per week Boeing 737

As previously reported, Qantas will begin flying its international Boeing 787-9 between Sydney and Perth as of Wednesday May 26, while also adding more Airbus A330s to Sydney-Perth, Melbourne-Perth, Sydney-Darwin and Brisbane-Darwin.

Read more: The Dreamliner goes domestic


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 366

Some great flight announcements for Hobart in recent months. Qantas will now service Hobart non-stop from all capital cities expect Darwin by the beginning of Spring. Add in the new Air New Zealand service from Auckland to Hobart and it's been a pretty big year of new routes for the Tasmanian capital!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2015

Total posts 22

So pleased to see this great news. Every time an airplane takes to the sky it invariably means someone is in a job whether it be in the airline, hotel, car hire or tourism industry. Great to also see a focus on some destinations that sometimes have had a back seat in these decisions. Well done Qantas

KW72 Banned
KW72 Banned

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 242

Good to see travel pick up, but most of this seems to be a copy and paste of what Virgin announced last week, only operated as a (cheaper?) Alliance lease and not by Qantas itself.

Maybe time to rename from the flying kangaroo to the flying copy cat.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 363

There you go again, KW72

02 Mar 2021

Total posts 2

Some great love for Canberra as well from Qantas. You can now fly non-stop from Canberra to all Australian state capital cities with Qantas, and Qantas also offer nonstop flights from Canberra to many Australian east coast regional centres now. 

Qantas’ new route and destination announcements over the past nine months are a win for Canberra, a win for Tasmania, a win for the NT and a win for the coastal and inland regional centres across the country.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 May 2020

Total posts 31

Intersting as these would normally be Jetstar routes

25 Feb 2015

Total posts 56

Great to hear and interesting to see a new aircraft type (temporarily for now) in the QF fleet. Do we know if they will be repainting these in Qantas (or QantasLink?) colours or doing any internal refurbishments? Looking forward to the review of flying one of these E190s.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 319

The E190s were reported to be repainted into QFLink colours with a "operated by Alliance" sticker as they are crewed by Alliance Airlines crew.

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