Cheap flights offered to Queensland battlers
BATTLING regional Queenslanders have been given a break with a national airline to offer new discounts on flights to and from Brisbane.
Qantas will today announce an investment of $10 million each year for discounts on fares booked at the last minute or during busy periods from eight regional Queensland towns.
Eight towns in the Northern Territory and Western Australia will also get cheaper fares to their respective capital cities.
Residents of the discounted Queensland flights would pay no more than $400 each way to and from Brisbane.
Previously, some last-minute fares between Cloncurry and Brisbane cost $1500. The cheaper flights are effective immediately at Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall, Karratha and Kalgoorlie, where airports and councils have committed to reducing passenger fees built into airfares.
But Qantas is still consulting with councils and airports in the other towns - Moranbah, Roma, Charleville, Broome, Port Hedland, Newman, Paraburdoo, Alice Springs and Yulara (Ayers Rock) - which are yet to reduce the fees.
The last-minute and peak-period discounts expand price cuts already offered on fares between regional towns and the nearest capital. Qantas Domestic chief executive Andrew David said the national carrier was responding to direct feedback from the regions.
"We have been out to visit regional communities to listen to their concerns and those raised through the Senate Inquiry into regional airfares, and we are responding," he said. Mr David said more than 20,000 return trips had been booked using the regional fare discounts since 2017.
"The existing discount program is proving to be extremely popular," he said.
"But some residents have told us that when they need to travel during peak travel periods or at the last minute, for things like funerals or urgent medical appointments, they end up booking our highest fares … or they don't travel."