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QantasLink Boosts Capacity for Regional NSW

Sydney, 21 January 2010

QantasLink today announced an expanded flying schedule covering a number of regional NSW ports from March 2010, as the airline takes delivery of its 19th 74-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft.

QantasLink Executive Manager, Mr Narendra Kumar, said QantasLink was pleased to be able to offer additional Q400 aircraft and services to regional NSW customers.

"The Q400 is the flagship of our QantasLink fleet and we are very proud to take delivery of our 19th Q400 aircraft, and base it in NSW to give more of our customers access to this state-of-the-art regional aircraft and a premium flying experience," Mr Kumar said.

Mr Kumar said the new schedule would see an additional 142,000 seats offered each year by QantasLink on a number of NSW routes, creating further travel opportunities for regional communities and benefitting local business and tourism operators. These included:

* the introduction of Q400 services to Wagga with 20 out of 26 weekly return flights being upgraded from 50-seat Q300 to 74-seat Q400 aircraft, resulting in an increase of 460 seats on the route each week;

* an additional five Q400 Coffs Harbour-Sydney return services each week departing Coffs Harbour at 4:05pm on weekdays, resulting in an increase of 788 seats on the route each week;

* an additional five 50-seat Q300 Port Macquarie-Sydney return services each week departing Port Macquarie at 3.30pm on weekdays, resulting in an increase of 500 seats on the route each week;

* an additional five 50-seat Q300 Tamworth-Sydney return services each week departing Tamworth at 12:10pm on weekdays, resulting in an increase of 500 seats on the route each week; and

* an additional five 50-seat Q300 Armidale-Sydney return services each week departing Armidale at 8:40am on weekdays, resulting in an increase of 500 seats on the route each week.

NSW Minister for Tourism Jodi McKay said the expanded services were great news for regional tourism and would provide a boost to local economies.

"This is a clear vote of confidence by QantasLink in the appeal of business and leisure tourism in regional NSW," she said.

"There is so much to see and do in regional NSW and these expanded services will make it even easier to get out and about.

"This is great news for business travellers, and the improved access gives another reason to hold business conferences and meetings in the excellent facilities available in regional NSW."

QantasLink has invested over $600 million in 21 new Q400 aircraft since 2006. These aircraft will operate alongside the airline's fleet of five Q200, 16 Q300 and 11 B717 aircraft, currently providing around 1800 flights each week to 53 metropolitan and regional destinations throughout Australia.

QantasLink makes a significant contribution to regional economies across Australia and currently services 11 destinations in NSW.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (4005)
Email: qantasmedia@qantas.com.au