After a seven-year absence, Qantas is resuming flights to the Whitsunday Coast airport of Proserpine. On Thursday, Qantas announced it would begin sending one of its QantasLink Dash 8-400s up to Proserpine from September 17.
Daily flights from mid-September
To run between the Queensland capital of Brisbane (BNE) and Proserpine (PPP), the flights will initially operate seven days a week. However, the flights will operate at variable times, depending on the day of the week.
On Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, the 74 seat QantasLink Dash 8-400 will push back from BNE at 11:55, operating as QF2526, and land in PPP at 13:55, taking two hours to cover the 555 miles (893 kilometers) between the two airports. The return flight, QF2527, departs Proserpine at 14:20 and arrives back in Brisbane at 16:15.
On Tuesday and Saturday, QF2526 will leave Brisbane at 10:00 and touchdown in Proserpine at midday. After just 25 minutes on the ground, the Dash 8-400 will depart PPP and land back in BNE at 14:20.
On Wednesday, the Proserpine-bound QantasLink flight will take off from Brisbane at 12:55 and arrive at Proserpine at 14:55. The return service will leave PPP at 15:20 and land back at BNE at 17:15. QantasLink’s new Proserpine services are now bookable, and Qantas is offering some tasty introductory fares. Coming in under 600 miles, Qantas points redemptions start at just 8,000 points.
“We’re pleased to be making it easier for Australians to experience the world-famous beaches of the Whitsunday region and access the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef,” said QantasLink CEO John Gissing in a statement.
“These new flights also open up the Whitsunday Coast to Qantas customers across the country who will be able to seamlessly connect through Brisbane from our extensive domestic network.”
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Qantas has another go at making Prosperine flights work
In the last year of normal flying patterns, 2019, Prosperine Airport handled 433,400 passengers, making it the 21st busiest airport in Australia. The airport is served by Virgin Australia and Qantas low-cost subsidiary Jetstar. Both Virgin Australia and Jetstar already fly on the BNE – PPP route. The latest Australian Government statistics reveal BNE – PPP was Australia’s 25th busiest airline route in April. That month, 183,700 passengers flew the sector.
Qantas has extensive services throughout Queensland, including ports up and down the coast. But the airline has always had a complicated relationship with PPP. Qantas has previously operated flights into the airport but has preferred to step back and let Jetstar service the market in recent years.
In 2014 Qantas had a crack at flying between Sydney (SYD) and PPP nonstop after a ten-year absence. However, the service was not a success, and flights were short-lived. Qantas noted on Thursday it is seven years since they’ve last flown into PPP.
Prosperine Airport is pleased to see Qantas heading back
Operators of Proserpine Airport, Whitsunday Regional Council, are delighted to see Qantas back on their airport’s apron soon.
A lot of networking and collaboration has gone on behind the scenes to seal this new deal, and our airport team continues to kick goals and build key industry relationships,” says Mayor Andrew Willcox. “The new deal puts us on target to smash the 500,000 annual passenger number record barrier.”
Prosperine Airport is handy to the tourist hub of Airlie Beach. From there, you can see some of the 70 plus islands that make up the Whitsundays archipelago. It’s a beautiful part of the world, and both Qantas and Whitsunday Regional Council will be hoping enough people agree to make the new QantasLink flights work.
Will Qantas be able to make this route work? Will ongoing border issues and travel restrictions prove insurmountable? Post a comment and let us know.