QantasLink says it will add a new $30 million next generation 74-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft to its Moranbah schedule from late June following the completion of upgrading of the local airport.
QantasLink executive manager Narendra Kumar said the number of seats offered between Brisbane and Moranbah would increase from 1880 to 3044 per week with the introduction of the larger Q400 aircraft. The number of flights operated on this important route will also increase from 20 to 24 return services per week.
"This major expansion of services linking Brisbane with one of Queensland's key mining centres is in direct response to increasing demand from the local coal and resources industries. We'll continue to grow capacity on this route as more projects come online," Kumar said.
"The arrival of our flagship Q400, with its jet-like speed, will mean flight times to and from the Isaac Shire will be reduced by up to 20 per cent. Customers will also benefit from an enhanced flight experience, including a quieter and more spacious cabin and larger overhead storage bins."
QantasLink's improved Moranbah flights and schedule will see new flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with 15 of the weekly services operated by Q400 aircraft at peak times and the remainder serviced by the 50 seat Q300 aircraft.
Kumar said regional Queensland has always been central to QantasLink's operations.
"Having recently increased capacity on a majority of key Queensland routes during April and May, we are ready to extend this across even more of our network," he said.
"This is great news for our customers, industry, and communities across the state who are heavily reliant on air services to connect them with Brisbane and beyond. This is particularly important when it comes to the resource and LNG boom Queensland is experiencing."
Last month, QantasLink added some 6500 additional seats per week across a range of Queensland regional routes. During April and May, Barcaldine, Blackall, Bundaberg, Emerald, Gladstone, Hervey Bay, Longreach, Mackay, Moranbah, Rockhampton and Roma have all benefitted from additional and upgraded services to and from Brisbane, with many flights now operated by Q400 aircraft.
As the country's largest regional airline, QantasLink is embedded in regional Australia. With a network of 55 metropolitan and country destinations across all states and territories, the airline also launched its first international destination - Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea - in July 2010. Services linking Perth and Exmouth in Western Australia commenced on March 30.
QantasLink has invested more than $850 million in 28 new Q400 aircraft since 2006, with the current fleet of 22 to grow to 28 over the next 18 months. The airline's fleet also includes five Q200, 16 Q300 and 11 B717 aircraft, with a further two B717s recently announced.
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