Qantas is poised to resume flights to Bundaberg on Wednesday, 1 July after withdrawing services when coronavirus travel restrictions were imposed.
The Qantas website reveals there will be one flight per day, six days a week excluding Saturdays.
From Thursday, 2 July flights will leave Brisbane at 11.30am, arriving Bundaberg at 12.25pm. The return leg departs Bundaberg at 12.55pm, arriving Brisbane at 1.50.
Fares start at $141.
Alliance Airlines has maintained once-daily flights six days per week to Bundaberg during the pandemic. The trip to Brisbane goes via Gladstone and takes two hours.
Alliance continues Bundaberg flights
Alliance has a codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia for flights to and from Bundaberg, Gladstone and Port Macquarie. The airline is unaffected by Virgin entering administration.
In its 20 May update to investors, Alliance reported increased profit thanks to high demand for charter operations.
“The company has experienced a substantial increase in demand for these services subsequent to the outbreak of COVID-19 and expects to deliver its strongest charter revenue result in many years,” it said in a statement.
“The additional demand is being driven by a combination of social distancing and a lack of availability of scheduled flights by other operators.
“Alliance’s operational expertise and flexible approach has seen a significant number of new resource sector clients take up charter services and the expectation is that this level of revenue will continue through FY21.”
Alliance said it was proud to have continued uninterrupted services from Brisbane to Gladstone and Bundaberg.
“In order to reduce costs and maintain viability, these services have been triangulated and operate six times per week,” the company said.
Federal Government underwrites three flights
“Three services per week are underwritten by the Federal Government’s Regional Airline Network Support Program.”
The Federal Government injected $198 million to help keep regional flights in the air.
Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister, Michael McCormack, said critical air services were needed now more than ever to connect regional Australia to freight, medical testing, supplies and essential personnel.
“This package guarantees core routes for domestic air freight will remain open and essential workers remain employed, while providing vital financial support for airlines servicing regional and remote locations,” Mr McCormack said.
“The funding will ensure regional communities benefit from an ongoing airline service by underwriting airlines’ operating costs on selected routes.”
Meanwhile, Qantas has announced its “Fly Well” program to ensure good hygiene and public safety when services resume.
Qantas announces hygiene measures
Rolling out from 12 June, the key measures at each point of the journey will be:
- Information sent to all customers before they fly, so they know what to expect.
- Contactless check-in (via online/app) and self-serve bag drop strongly encouraged, including use of Q Bag tags.
- Hand sanitising stations at departure gates.
- Temporary changes to Qantas Lounges, including increased physical distancing, hand sanitising stations, enhanced disinfection of surfaces and adjustments to food and drink service.
- Working with airports on other safeguards in the terminal, including regular disinfection of security screening points and installing hygiene screens at airline customer service desks, wherever practical.
- Masks provided to all passengers on each flight – while not mandatory from a safety point of view, they are recommended to be worn in the interests of everyone’s peace-of-mind.
- Enhanced cleaning of aircraft with a disinfectant effective against Coronaviruses, with a focus on high contact areas – seats, seatbelts, overhead lockers, air vents and toilets.
- Sanitising wipes given to all passengers to wipe down seat belts, trays and armrests themselves, if preferred.
- Simplified service and catering to minimise touchpoints for crew and passengers.
- Passengers asked to limit movement around cabin, once seated.
- Sequenced boarding and disembarkation to minimise crowding.
Other news: Infrastructure takes off at Bundaberg Airport