Canberra – EIGHT new routes, including THREE starting this week
Canberra is on a roll, with the Australian capital airport having eight new routes – most very leisure-orientated – this summer (in the southern hemisphere). These are across four carriers: Alliance, FlyPelican, LINKairways, and QantasLink.
QantasLink will have four new routes, all by Boeing 717s. This may well send a message to Virgin Australia that if it uses Alliance’s Fokkers for new routes, as it had done previously, it can expect vigorous competition.
Three routes will begin this week from Canberra to Cairns, Newcastle, and Sunshine Coast.
When these three begin, each will have two operators, although this will be Cairns’ only non-stop service. It’ll supplement the recently started Canberra – Sunshine Coast – Cairns one-stop operation.
Meanwhile, Ballina, Gold Coast, Hobart, and Sunshine Coast all started between July and early November 2020 in time for Australia’s summer.
Significantly, Canberra – Hobart was Australia’s third-largest unserved domestic market with ~59,000 passengers in the year to August 2019. Previously served by Virgin Australia until 2013, it too will now have two operators.
Newcastle, now also with two carriers, will have 21 weekly flights from 25 January. And from 1 February, it’ll have 26 – up by 62.5% from 16 in the same week in 2020, OAG data shows.
|Routing: Canberra to…||Airline||Start date||Weekly frequency*||Weekly frequency: week starting 25 Jan**||Direct competition (WF in week starting 25 Jan**)|
|Ballina (Byron Bay)||FlyPelican||3 July||3||3||None|
|Gold Coast||QantasLink||25 September||4||5||Virgin Australia (7)|
|Hobart||LINKairways||5 November||4||4||QantasLink (3)|
|Hobart||QantasLink||4 December||3||3||LINKairways (4)|
|Newcastle||LINKairways||20 November||4||4***||FlyPelican (17)***|
|Sunshine Coast||Alliance***||23 October||2||2||QantasLink (2)|
|Sunshine Coast||QantasLink||19 November||3||3||Alliance (2)|
|Source: airline websites and OAG Schedules Analyser. * Based on when they started. ** Correct as of 16 November 2020. Subject to change. *** Bookable until 29 January, i.e. the peak summer season covered. *** LINKairways increases to 11 weekly from 1 February as FlyPelican reduces to 15. **** The aircraft operates Canberra – Sunshine Coast – Cairns, providing a one-stop service to the far north Queensland city.|