QantasLink Cancels Sydney-Hervey Bay Service
18th Jul 2016
After the decision to cancel flights between Melbourne and Coffs Harbor, regional airline QantasLink has now announced that it will also discontinue the Sydney-Hervey Bay service from 8th August.
Explaining its decision, Qantas' regional brand airline said it is canceling the service due to a lack of passengers on it. The carrier has been flying this route two times per week, on Saturdays and Sundays, since May 2014.
A spokeswoman for QantasLink said the following about the announcement:
"Unfortunately, we just aren't seeing enough people book seats on the flights. This is despite our hard work over the past two years to promote the service, as well as deploying smaller aircraft on the route to better match capacity with demand."
She also said that passengers can still reach Hervey Bay from Sydney, but they will now have to connect via Brisbane.
The spokeswoman added:
"We remain committed to Hervey Bay and will continue to operate our four daily return services to Brisbane, which connects to our domestic and international network. We apologise to customers for the inconvenience and will offer a refund or we can re-accomodate on a QantasLink flight via Brisbane for those customers who have booked a ticket after 7th August."
Fraser Coast Airport Numbers Rising, Council Says
However, according to Paul Truscott, who is an aviation portfolio councilor, the number of passengers going through Fraser Coast Airport in Hervey Bay actually went up. As a result, the council has asked QantasLink to overturn its decision to cancel Sydney-Hervey Bay flights, but will ultimately respect the carrier's decision.
Mr Truscott said:
"Our figures show that there has been an increase in passenger movements through the airport in the past year. Council will continue to hold talks with airlines to encourage more services, or use of larger aircraft, but we understand that the final decision is up to the airlines as the routes have to be profitable for them.
Passenger numbers have been increasing at the Fraser Coast Airport since September last year.
Chris Loft, Mayor of Fraser Coast said:
"At the end of June there had been just under 189,000 passenger movements through the airport. That is almost 8,000 more than last year and almost 25,000 more than the 2013/14 year."