Qantas is on a roll. After winning Fair Work Australia's nod in its labour row with unions, the flag carrier is attempting to recover lost market sharing with the launch of three daily flights to Gold Coast.
Property sales in the area have been hard to come by. Last month alone, out of 70 properties on offer by Ray White in Broadbeach only 15 were sold.
The air carrier is actually returning to God Coast since it scrapped the flights in 2008. The firm said it decided to bring back flights between Sydney and Coolangatta beginning October due to improved economic conditions and higher demand for air services.
Qantas cited the rising aviation fuel cost as the reason why it left the unprofitable route in 2008 to subsidiary Jetstar which shared the route with Virgin Blue and Tiger. It coincided with the global financial crisis, the growing strength of the Australian dollar and availability of cheaper flights to international destinations.
However, Gold Coast businesses clamoured for the return of Qantas for its premium service.
Current one-way fares for the Sydney-Gold Coast leg is $60 with Tiger, $59 for Jetstar and $79 with Virgin, according to Webjet, an online booking agency. Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said that despite the comeback of the air carrier to the route, Jetstar would continue its service in the Gold Coast.
With the three daily flights, 1,000 extra seats would be available to Gold Coast travelers or almost 400,000 more seats annually via Boeing 737-800 jets.
Queensland officials and tourism groups welcomed Qantas return to the state.
"It's terrific to see Qantas deciding to come back here. I think it does indicate that people are seeing that a new government does have economic growth as its main priority," ABC quoted Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.
"This is good for business class travelers and is a statement of confidence," Gold Coast Tourism Chief Executive Officer Martin Winter told The Herald Sun.
"When we've had all the wrong news lately, this reversal is a strong indication of vote of confidence for Gold Coast, for leisure tourism, and for Queensland," The Australian quoted Queensland Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind.
The Gold Coast passenger lounge, presently being used by Jetstar, is being refurbished and will reopen as the Qantas Club toward the end of 2012.
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