The historic former Australian gold mining town of Bendigo will get its first regular commercial air service in 30 years when Qantas regional subsidiary QantasLink starts flying there from Sydney in 2019.
The six days a week route will be the central Victorian city’s first direct link with Sydney and is expected to provide 30,000 seats annually after it starts on March 31.
It is expected to shave about fours hours off a round trip compared to driving to and from Melbourne.
QantasLink will use its 50-seater Bombardier Q-300 turboprops to fly to Bendigo, the fourth Qantas Group destination in Victoria after Avalon, Mildura and Melbourne.
“As Australia’s largest regional airline, we know we have an important role to play in connecting communities and making air travel more accessible,” said QantasLink chief executive John Gissing said.
“No airline has ever offered regular passenger flights between Bendigo and Sydney– so these flights are a win for both travelers and tourism.
“We’re responding to demand from local businesses and industry leaders by adding Bendigo to our network.“
The airline worked with the Victorian government, Visit Victoria and City of Greater Bendigo Council to start the new service.
Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas described the Sydney flight as a “landmark opportunity” for the city that was expected to attract about 15,000 visitors to the city each year.
This would create local jobs, boost tourism and create enormous opportunities for local businesses, he said.
City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said the access to regular flights presented the city with a great opportunity to further grow its tourism brand, establish business connections and provide residents with more options for leisure travel.
The launch of the services follow runway upgrades completed at Bendigo Airport last year and Qantas is offering $A129 one-way promotional fares to kick off the service.
The historic Victorian center is the 57th destination on the QantasLink network.