QantasLink will commence seasonal direct flights between Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast over the upcoming peak summer holiday period, following the success of the direct Sydney services launched last year.
QantasLink will operate four return flights per week between Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast from December 16, 2016 to January 21, 2017 on its two class Boeing 717 aircraft.
In addition to QantasLink’s current schedule of six return flights from Sydney, providing 1320 seats to and from the region every week, the airline will further increase flights with an additional return service on Saturday and Sunday from October 30.
The attraction of the Sunshine Coast for Victorians was highlighted graphically at the Sunshine Coast Airport launch, with MCY enjoying balmy 21C temperatures at 10.30am in the morning, while MEL was still struggling to pass 10C.
QantasLink Chief Executive Officer John Gissing said the seasonal flights from Melbourne and expanded weekend schedule from Sydney would meet increased demand and were part of the airline’s commitment to supporting local tourism.
“We’re pleased to offer our customers in Victoria direct flights to the Sunshine Coast this summer as it’s proved to be a popular destination for Australians looking to holiday close to home,” Mr Gissing said.
“We’re always looking at opportunities to expand our network where there is demand, and of course promote the best of what Australia has to offer.
“We’ve seen consistently high passenger numbers on our Sydney to Sunshine Coast services and this prompted us to introduce these seasonal flights.”
Visit Sunshine Coast acting CEO Simon Latchford applauded the decision by Qantas, saying the move is a huge win for travellers and the Sunshine Coast tourism industry.
“Today’s announcement highlights Qantas’ strong commitment to the Sunshine Coast and provides more choice for visitors during the peak summer holiday period,” Mr Latchford said.
“What makes the Sunshine Coast so attractive for Victorians is that we offer a diversity of attractions that extend way beyond our beaches. Our rich food culture, the Hinterland villages, our outstanding spas and wellness centres and a record events calendar means that even for visitors who know the Sunshine Coast, there’s plenty more to discover with each new trip. .
“We are confident the flights in December and January will really boost our Melbourne market, and hopefully this will lead to more extended services into 2017.”
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the new flights today, saying they were a win for Sunshine Coast locals looking to travel to Victoria as well as holidaymakers from the southern states planning on visiting the Coast over the Christmas-New Year school holidays.
“It is almost a year to the day that we announced the Flying Kangaroo’s return to the Sunshine Coast with its Sydney schedule and look at the great progress that has been made over those 12 months,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The services that began in December with a leisure-based schedule and then switched to business flight timings in February have been so successful that Qantas has now expanded its Sunshine Coast connection with these Melbourne flights and additional weekend Sydney flights.”