Member for Rockhampton Barry ORourke.
Member for Rockhampton Barry ORourke.

Mile high Qantas rip-off

WHETHER for last-minute holidays, sporting excursions or trips to Brisbane hospital, plane trips to Queensland’s capital can come at unexpected times – with each two-hour round trip costing more than $600 sometimes.

The unrelenting figure has done more than enough damage to Rockhampton’s wallet, and local member of parliament Barry O’Rourke is taking a stand.

“We are sick of the expensive flights in and out of Rockhampton,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“I’m hearing stories of people paying $600 to $700 to get to Brisbane on short notice.

“The number of people flying into Rockhampton has increased by 3400 passengers.”

Mr O’Rourke is backing an online petition calling on Qantas to “stop the rip-off” by adding more flights or re-establishing Jetstar services to drive down prices.

So far, the petition has garnered more than 3000 signatures.

“It just amazes me that you see the (Qantas) CEO is earning $24 million a year. So that’s $65,000 a day,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“Qantas has made a profit of about $1.3 billion. They are in a position to be able to reduce airfares and I’m calling on the CEO of Qantas to do just that.”

A Qantas spokesperson said Rockhampton is a “highly competitive market with fares much lower than other regional Queensland towns”.

“Rockhampton does not face the same issues as other regional markets,” the spokesperson said.

“(Rockhampton is) more comparable with travel between capital cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

“Fares booked closer to the date of travel are generally more expensive as fewer seats are available. This is the same across all airlines.

“Rockhampton residents booking last minute in the next week can still access fares as low as $158 one-way to Brisbane, and from $165 between Brisbane and Rockhampton.”

Qantas said representatives are prepared to meet and discuss these issues with community leaders.

The petition can be found at www.megaphone.org.au/

petitions/qantas-stop-the

-rocky-rip-off



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