Qantas boosts Cairns, Townsville, Sunshine Coast, PNG flights

By Chris Chamberlin, December 13 2018

Qantas is ramping up its flights to Queensland with more domestic services to Cairns, the Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Mount Isa, along with new business class options for travellers jetting from Sydney and Melbourne to Far North Queensland.

Joining that, QantasLink will also resume its Cairns-Port Moresby flights, complementing the Qantas Group's existing international flights from Cairns to Bali, Osaka and Tokyo, which are all served by Jetstar.

Here's what you need to know.

Cairns gets Airbus A330s, Business Suites

Passengers travelling between Sydney and Cairns and also Melbourne and Cairns will find Qantas' Airbus A330s appearing on selected flights from March 31 2019, featuring the airline's international-grade business class Business Suites...

... promising every passenger direct aisle access, plenty of space to work and relax, and as time permits on these three-hour flights, a fully-flat bed for a quick nap:

AusBT Review: Qantas domestic Airbus A330 Business Suites

Qantas is also rolling out free WiFi on its domestic Airbus A330 flights and plans to provide this across its entire domestic A330 fleet, as will serve Cairns.

More domestic flights for Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Mount Isa

From the same date, the Roo's flights between Sydney and the Sunshine Coast will increase from daily to double-daily on weekdays, boosting the total number of weekly return flights on the route from eight to 13.

Brisbane travellers will also gain extra flights to Cairns and Mount Isa.

On the Brisbane-Cairns route, Qantas currently provides up to four daily return flights, but from late March, 11 additional weekly return services will be added to the schedule.

Travellers bound for Mount Isa will also have more flights to choose from with services from Brisbane climbing to an almost double-daily frequency at 13 return flights per week.

However, the current mix of Boeing 737s and two-class Boeing 717s on this route will be swapped over to the all-economy QantasLink Boeing 717s as of April 1 2019, removing the option of business class on these flights.

Six additional weekly return flights will also be added between Brisbane and Townsville.

Qantas resumes international flying from Cairns

As of March 31 2019, QantasLink will resume its international flights between Cairns and Port Moresby: a route that was axed in 2016, leaving Air Nuigini as the only option for the 85-minute hop.

These flights will be served by QantasLink's 74-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft, which come in an all-economy, 2-2 layout.

Qantas is currently refreshing these planes with new leather upholstry and seatback tablet holders for iPads and the like, and expects these revamps to be completed on every Q400 by the end of 2019:

Photos: QantasLink upgrades Q400 aircraft seating

Qantas' existing flights between Brisbane and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea will continue as-is, using a Boeing 737 aircraft offering both business class and economy.

Also read: Qantas launches direct Sydney-Bendigo flights

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Tallfont

Tallfont

30 Jul 2018

Total posts 7

The resumption of QF on POM-CNS is most welcome! PX have been steadily increasing fares on this route since QF left in 2016. Even although they said they wouldn't!


A friend recently booked POM-CNS-POM in economy for around $A1200 albeit over the Christmas/New year period.

That's $A50 less than my daughter is doing PER-LHR on QF9/10 in May!


IntegralMan

IntegralMan

01 Sep 2018

Total posts 29

Great news for Cairns, and great news for anyone travelling there!

Does anyone know which routes QF will be pulling off A330s in order to use them for SYD-CNS?

NQflyer

NQflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jun 2015

Total posts 31

Still no non-stop Townsville flights to Sydney or Melbourne. JQ does count!

Chris_PER

Chris_PER

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

Don't live/work in Townsville then.

NQflyer

NQflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jun 2015

Total posts 31

Thanks for your most insightful and learned reply.

kim

kim

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 May 2013

Total posts 34

I agree Chris

Boo Townsville

Thumbs up Chris

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2950

Let's keep the conversation constructive, on-topic and on-track...

GBRGB

GBRGB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 221

Yes it’s dissapointing, direct flights to Australia’s main airport would be a game changer for a lot of us in TSV, so it’s via BNE or fly VA for the for the time being.

tm_smile

tm_smile

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 106

Fly VA to SYD then... If it doesn't make commercial sense for flights, you can't expect them to fly the route.

NQflyer

NQflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jun 2015

Total posts 31

I do and it’s full.

AT

AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 259

Great move QF. Would be good to see QF push further into SWP with own flights, understand Fiji may be on the cards with 737.

aatuti

aatuti

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Oct 2018

Total posts 6

As someone who regularly flies POM-CNS this is a very welcome move. Nicely done Qantas.

ExLibris76

ExLibris76

09 Jul 2012

Total posts 27

Great news on QF resuming CNS/POM route. PX service is good, but it's a monopoly and prices are high. As a regular flier on this route I appreciate the opportunity to once again earn QF points.

ratrace

ratrace

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2018

Total posts 14

All 717s BNE-CNS. Doesn’t feel good to me but I understand why having flown this route a number of times recently.

GBRGB

GBRGB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 221

Yes that’s a valid observation, it’s really just a plane swap with more 717 replacing 737 services and providing a few more services to compensate, I would suggest the increase in actual seats on the CNS - BNE and TSV - BNE services is virtually non existent and that most of the increase is in the return of a CNS- POM service and the upgrade to the 330 , as usual it’s always in the details.

ratrace

ratrace

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2018

Total posts 14

Yes I think you are right.

I didn’t enjoy the 717 ride I had up to Cairns from Brisbane in September.

Couldn’t wait to get off!

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2950

I flew QantasLink's Boeing 717 from Brisbane to Cairns recently and didn't mind it (although have flown it before). There's the standard 2-2 business class up front, but even in economy, I actually prefer it over the Boeing 737s when travelling with a partner because of the 2-3 seating layout, so you can select a pair of seats together on the left, without having an extra seatmate or resigning one of you to a middle seat, ha.

(If you're the taller traveller of the couple, I'd recommend selecting the aisle seat as there's a little more space for your feet, and if you have noise-cancelling headphones, do pack them!)

turner773

turner773

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Mar 2014

Total posts 15

I'm not sure the A330s are actually increasing capacity into Sydney either since the previous 17+ weekly 737s have been replaced by a daily A330 and single daily 737.

TJS

TJS

14 Jun 2018

Total posts 9

Are all the services now going to be B717? The article makes that reference to Mt Isa. Does it apply to Cairns as well?

GBRGB

GBRGB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 221

Almost all of them, 35 of 39 weekly BNE- CNS flights will now be in the 717

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 527

Hmmm. I used to like flying MEL-BNE-CNS return in J on DSC for status runs. Guess I'll have to find a new route or do it in Flex Y if J is no longer available for BNE-CNS. Very disappointing.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2950

mviy: Qantas has two different Boeing 717 configurations - one is all-economy as will fly to Mount Isa, while the other offers 12 business class seats as often flies to places like Canberra and Hobart, and as already regularly appears on many Brisbane-Cairns flights. Forward schedules continue to show this two-class jet serving Brisbane-Cairns, so business class will still be available.

wanderlust_tim

wanderlust_tim

24 Apr 2018

Total posts 1

Can anybody please advise what flight numbers and days will be served by the A330 for MEL-CNS-MEL?

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