Qantas to launch direct Sydney-Gladstone QantasLink flights
Qantas is boosting flights to the Queensland resources industry hub of Gladstone, with eight weekly flights from Sydney planned to start in March 2013.
Previously, travellers would have connected through Brisbane.
"Today QantasLink proudly provides customers from Gladstone with access to more destinations than any other airline, a new Qantas Regional Lounge and more seats at peak times through the introduction of Boeing 717 jet services to Brisbane," Qantas Domestic CEO Lyell Strambi said, spruiking his airline's offering.
Flights will run eight times a week, with a double-daily return on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Qantas says that's a total of 1200 seats available per week.
Qantas will use a Q400 propeller-driven plane from regional subsidiary QantasLink in an all-economy class 2-2 layout -- a layout that might well prove cramped for the relatively long flight of just over 1100 km.
Business travellers valuing comfort over direct flights -- or who'd have to connect in Sydney anyway -- would likely prefer to connect via Brisbane so that less of their overall journey takes place on the Q400, with its noisier cabin, smaller seats and lack of business class.
Top tip: Try to pick the Boeing 717 jet instead if timings are convenient: it's a bit faster, more comfortable and less noisy, especially if you pick a seat up the front.
For the very latest on the battle between Qantas and Virgin Australia for resources sector passengers, follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT.
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas to launch direct Sydney-Gladstone QantasLink flights
10 Sep 2011
Total posts 162
CBR-BNE on a Q400 is not an uncomfortable flight, I can't see why this would be worse at less than 100m more.
With the 717s, unless Qantas can buy 2nd hand 717s, where will they get them for this route now that the production line is closed? Expansion of the regional turbofan fleet will be reliant upon the ability to purchase of a C-Series, Embraer E-195, or dare I say it, Sukhoi Superjet.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
10 Apr 2012
Total posts 314
here2go, QantasLink already have 2 x 717's based in Brisbane doing the runs...
10 Sep 2011
Total posts 162
My understanding is they are fully occupied.
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
24 Aug 2011
Total posts 789
If you're tall, wide and built like a stereotypical miner anything more than half an hour in a Q400 can be a nightmare - and don't even consider trying to use the head. And for that flight time QF passengers will generally expect more than the limited catering that can be offered.
The market is flush with used 717s so getting more isn't an issue. Cobham's fleet IIRC are the original Impulse/Jetstar birds, so adding used versions shouldn't diminish customer experience.