Qantas launches new Perth-Exmouth route, takes aim at Virgin Blue in WA

By John Walton, March 31 2011
Qantas launches new Perth-Exmouth route, takes aim at Virgin Blue in WA

Qantas launched its new routes between Perth and Exmouth yesterday, and will fly 115-seat Boeing 717 jets three times a week between the two cities.

The airline's Western Australia boss Ian Gay highlighted that the "new QantasLink services have been timed to offer connections and through-check to and from major East Coast centres".

Qantas' big, internationally-equipped Boeing 747 planes will start flying from Sydney to Perth in April, while Melbourne and Brisbane flights to Perth will see Airbus A330 aircraft. Business travellers will experience the larger and more comfortable long-haul business class seats on these planes.

The new flights are the latest volley in the battle between Qantas and Virgin Blue for supremacy in Western Australia's lucrative business travel market, which grew by 25 percent last year.

Virgin Blue has tied up with Skywest to provide WA flights from Perth and will fly A330 aircraft with international-standard business class twice daily between Sydney and Perth.

Qantas' Ian Gay is certainly talking up his airline's services in Western Australia: "With the addition of Exmouth, the Qantas Group’s Western Australia network now comprises nine destinations and we are in the process of significantly expanding our full service Western Australia operations."

"We have recently based an additional B737-800 aircraft in Perth which will add nearly 7,000 seats per week between Perth and Broome, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Newman, Paraburdoo and Port Hedland," he said.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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