Qantas has announced it will introduce a discounted fares scheme to make it easier for residents in Mount Isa and Cloncurry to access more affordable air fares.
From November 2017, Qantas will offer a variable discount of up to 30% for residents to travel between Mount Isa and Brisbane and Townsville, and between Cloncurry and Townsville – however it does not include Cloncurry to Brisbane.
The discount will apply to the Qantas-controlled component of return fares (which excludes airport charges, security fees and GST) and will be available for personal travel to individuals who reside in Mount Isa and Cloncurry.
The move comes after many complaints about high airfares from the region.
Along with cities in Western Australia, Qantas has chosen these markets because residents are competing with a very high volume of corporate travel, specifically from the resource industry.
Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David said the economics of air travel to remote communities like Mount Isa and Cloncurry can be severely impacted by their remoteness, levels of demand and high operating costs.
“The reality is that the per kilometre cost on a small aircraft is significantly higher than a larger aircraft that operates between major cities, because the costs are divided by a much higher number of passengers,” Mr David said.
“These regional routes don’t have the levels of demand needed to sustain a much larger aircraft and we want to maintain the frequency of services.”
The discount will be available on all economy fare classes except for sale fares, for purchase up to and including the day of travel.
This means that last minute trips during peak travel times or seasons, which are traditionally more expensive, will be more accessible for residents.
The discounted fares scheme will be run as a 12 month trial, during which Qantas will review the uptake and revenue impact.
“We’re optimistic that the discount will stimulate additional demand, which will help us offset some of the cost of the scheme,” Mr David said.
To access the discount, residents will need to book a return flight on Qantas.
The discounts will only be available for personal travel, and will be limited to four return flights a year for each resident.
Discounts will vary from between 10-30 per cent, depending on the type of fare purchased.
The most flexible (and therefore, higher) the fare, the greater the percentage discount for local residents.
For instance a red edeal worth $741 will cost $675 (10% off) while a $1213 will cost $987 (20% off)
Qantas is also in discussions with regional Airports and Councils about reducing their airport charges which may enable further savings to be passed on to residents.
Full details of the discounted fares scheme for eligible residents, including information on how to book, will be provided in the coming weeks.
The North West Star has asked Qantas why Cloncurry to Brisbane is not included in the scheme.
The story Qantas new discounted fare scheme for Mount Isa and Cloncurry first appeared on The North West Star.