Qantas yesterday announced it will run Bendigo-Sydney regular public transport (RPT) services from 31 March next year using Q300 aircraft.
The airline will run six flights a week between the two cities offering 30,000 seats annually.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the new Bendigo flights reinforced the national carrier’s commitment to supporting regional Victoria.
“As Australia’s largest regional airline, we know we have an important role to play in connecting communities and making air travel more accessible,” he said
“No airline has ever offered regular passenger flights between Bendigo and Sydney, so these flights are a win for both travellers and tourism.
“We’re responding to demand from local businesses and industry leaders by adding Bendigo to our network. Direct flights will offer a more convenient way to do business in Sydney, saving travellers around four hours driving time on a round trip instead of flying via Melbourne."
The move comes after the Federal and State goverment's supplied $14.7 million in funding to upgrade Bendigo, including constructing a new runway to take 70-seat aeroplanes.
“This is a landmark opportunity for Bendigo that will create local jobs, boost tourism and create enormous opportunities for local businesses," Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said.
"The new service will attract nearly 15,000 visitors to Bendigo each year – and that’s great news for local cafes, motels, restaurants and the Bendigo economy.”
Bendigo is only the fourth regional airport in Victorian currently with an RPT link. The others are Portland, Warrnambool and Mildura.