Qantas to make sure market is sustainable before expanding
QANTAS wants to ensure direct weekend flights to Sydney are sustainable before it considers expanding.
The first flights on the QantasLink service on Saturday were delayed with a passenger who won a free ticket to Sydney saying the plane took off two hours late.
Speaking at Hervey Bay Airport, Qantas regional general manager Peter Collyn said the priority at this early stage was filling the 10,000 extra seats the flights would add to the Fraser Coast to Sydney route each year.
"With every market we go into, at first we want to make sure the market is sustainable and for the long term," he said.
"So our first intention is to fill the flights on weekends and wherever the opportunity is we'll look to grow that as well.
"We hope the success of the weekend flights will lead to further opportunities to expand.
"It is a big capacity we are putting in there."
Mr Collyn said the extra flights would not only provide Fraser Coast with a boost in the domestic market but could see an increase in overseas visitors who arrived on international flights to Sydney each day.
Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said aviation was a key sector and a financial boost for the region because large numbers of people came in for short and long stays.
Ticket winner and first-time flyer Craig Hemsworth said he and partner Renee Allen were planning to watch an NRL match between Tigers and Sharks. .
"We didn't make it to the game because the plane was delayed for two hours," he said. "It was still good though, we took a walk around Sydney and then just watched the game in the hotel room."