More Boeing 717 jets for Rocky
QANTASLINK will increase its capacity between Rockhampton and Brisbane from the middle of March with the introduction of larger Boeing 717 jets.
The switch will mean 598 additional seats on Rockhampton flights each week, taking the number available on QantasLink to more than 8400 a week.
The airline's announcement today was hailed by Capricorn Enterprise chief executive Mary Carroll as a major boost to the region.
"The business community has been wanting a jet service by QantasLink for some time and it is refreshing to see the call answered," she said.
"I'd like the next announcement by QantasLink to be the provision of direct flights from Rockhampton to either Sydney or Melbourne."
Once the jets are in service QantasLink will have almost as many seats available as Virgin on routes to and from Rockhampton and Ms Carroll said it was clear the carrier had made a very good business decision to keep up with competitive advantage.
And she called for both airlines and the airport to up their game to provide additional services for business travellers.
"Considering the amount of corporate travel into Rocky airport it is absolutely essential that the major airlines provide jet services with business class capacity."
She said the airport should now look seriously about providing business class lounges for both major airlines.
QantasLink said yesterday two new 717s would allow it to increase capability on routes to Gladstone and Mackay as well as Rockhampton while new Q300 and Q400 aircraft would provide additional seats for travellers to Emerald, Roma and Bundaberg.
A twice weekly service will be added on the Townsville and Moranbah route.