Qantas is ramping up flights between Melbourne and Tasmania from this week, with more services to Hobart and Launceston plus an upgrade of the aircraft used for Melbourne-Devonport.
Business travellers between Melbourne and Hobart will see a boost to three services per day, up from the previous double daily roster.
But they'll need to look out for changes in some flight times and flight numbers, along with a downgrade for the morning Hobart-Melbourne and evening Melbourne-Hobart runs.
Those flights shift from the big, quiet and comfy Boeing 737-800 jet with business class, to a smaller noisier Q400 turboprop full of economy seats.
This switcheroo is certain to catch some business travellers out – so here's what you need to know when it comes to booking your Melbourne-Hobart flights with Qantas (there's no change to Jetstar flights across the Bass Strait).
- QF1011 now departs 7am instead of 8.45am, and runs on a Boeing 737-800
- a new mid-afternoon QF1015 service leaves Melbourne at 2.55pm, also on a Boeing 737-800
- the former 7pm QF1013 service edges forward to 6.10pm, becomes QF2155 and is downgraded from a Boeing 737 to a Q400.
- the 6.35am QF1010 service becomes QF2148 and also gets the 737-to-Q400 swap
- a new 8.55am flight is offered on a Boeing 737-800, although it sports the same QF1012 flight number as the old afternoon service
- the 4.50pm flight is now dubbed QF1016 (used to be QF1012) and remains on a Boeing 737-800
The upshot? Business travellers will no doubt welcome a third daily service between Melbourne and Hobart, but some won't be thrilled to see their regular flights traded down from the Boeing 737 to a Q400.
If you're booking on the Q400, our expert Best Seats guide reveals that you'll want to snare seats 1A, 1B, 2C or 2D, while doing all you can to avoid anywhere in row 19: click here for all the details.
In addition, Melbourne-Launceston goes from 17 to 28 weekly return services.
Two of the weekly Melbourne-Devonport return flights are upgraded from a 50-seater Q300 turboprop to the larger 74-seat Q400 aircraft for a near-50% boosts in bums.
To help cater for those extra travellers, Devonport also gets a new Qantas Regional Lounge.
There's a selection of soft drinks and snacks plus free wireless internet while you wait for your flight.
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