Canberra – EIGHT new routes, including THREE starting this week

Canberra – EIGHT new routes, including THREE starting this week

Canberra will launch three routes this week (week starting 16 November) and each will then have two operators. And this summer, in the southern hemisphere, the Australian capital territory airport will have eight new routes.

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.

Read more: Canberra – Hobart had the highest fare per mile of Australia’s core unserved domestic markets.

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
Cairns QantasLink 21 November 2 2 Alliance via Sunshine Coast (2)
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.


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