When we could be flying again
AIRLINES will consider increasing domestic flights within the state if there is increased demand on the back of the easing internal travel restrictions.
But tourism figures warn there was unlikely to be significant new flights until the state borders are reopened.
Following Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's announcement yesterday that COVID-19 travel restrictions within the state would be lifted, the major airlines indicated they would be watching for any uptick in demand very closely.
A Qantas and Jetstar spokeswoman said more flights would be added where there was demand.
"We will be monitoring bookings on intra-Queensland routes closely and will add capacity where we see demand," she said.
A Virgin Australia spokeswoman said the airline would be reviewing its schedule.
"Virgin Australia will continue to review its schedule in line with customer demand and as travel restrictions ease," she said.
But Destination Gold Coast boss Annaliese Battista warned that her conversations with airlines indicated that more domestic flights, even within Queensland, were unlikely until the state borders reopened.
"Until the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane golden triangle opens up the airlines have a job ahead of them being profitable. There's little profit in intrastate travel," she said.
But, she welcomed the State Government's announcement, saying while it would have little impact on the domestic tourism market it showed they were listening to the industry.
"The main game in town is reopening the Queensland borders. The State Government has given us hope that might be done more quickly than was foreshadowed a week ago," Ms Battista said.
Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin are currently operating the government's minimum viable domestic networks, offering a small number of flights to keep some air travel possible.
This includes flights to regional centres including Cairns, Townsville, Rockhamptom, Gladstone, Mackay, Roma, Mt Isa and Longreach.
Originally published as When we could be flying again