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Please note, the launch date has been delayed until 15 March 2021. 

Australia’s national carrier Qantas will directly connect the Hunter Region and northern NSW to Melbourne for the first time in more than a decade, when a Boeing 717 jet service launches on 1 February 2021.

Newcastle Airport ambassadors Mark and Cathy Fren, stars of Channel Nine’s popular ‘Travel Guides’ program were on hand to support the airport’s announcement.

Speaking today, Airport CEO Dr Peter Cock said the new service to the southern capital was a great show of confidence in the region.

“We’ve seen really strong travel demand from our region since borders reopened,” he said.

“Today’s announcement is further good news for our customers and the latest example of airlines meeting that demand. In recent weeks we’ve seen new services to destinations such as Canberra, Lord Howe Island and the Sunshine Coast.”

“We now have Qantas flying to Melbourne at the start and end of the day. Those times will suit all types of travellers and enable business passengers to do a day’s work in Melbourne and be home in time for dinner.”

“Importantly, this service also enhances the ability to catch connecting flights within the Qantas network, from Melbourne to destinations such as Adelaide, Perth or Darwin and check your bags through to the final destination.”

“Our research and forecasts were telling us that our region was outperforming others across the country, so it’s great to see an airline such as Qantas recognise us in this way.”

Newcastle Airport Ambassador Mark Fren said it was a very exciting time for Newcastle Airport and the region it served.

“I love travelling, and I particularly love travelling from my local airport, so to see these new services commencing, is really wonderful.” he said.

‘It’s been an incredibly tough year for all of us who work in tourism, hospitality and the arts, but to finally see some blue sky as we near the end of 2020, will put a smile on lots of faces in our region, including mine.”

“I’d really like to congratulate Newcastle Airport for the way they’ve pulled through this pandemic. I can’t wait to be hitting the tarmac at Williamtown again very soon.”

QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the new route would support the growing demand for travel between Newcastle and Melbourne.

“As the national carrier, we have an important role to play in driving tourism and supporting the industry’s recovery,” said Mr Gissing.

“Before COVID, more than 11 million Australians travelled overseas each year, so these flights will help convert some of these international trips into domestic holidays instead.

“We know there is significant pent-up demand for travel with Australians inspired to plan their next holiday in their own backyard with international borders closed.

“We expect this service will also be popular with our corporate travellers with a schedule offering flights at peak times in both directions.”

Qantas flights continue to have complimentary baggage and food and drink included with every seat.

Flight time is around 90mins, with two return flights, morning and evening, scheduled on weekdays, with one return flight on weekends.

Double daily flights departing Newcastle at 0700 and 1650 on weekdays and daily flights on the weekend departing at 0700 on Saturday and 1650 on Sunday.

Double daily flights departing Melbourne at 0705 and 1910 on weekdays and daily flights on the weekend departing at 0705 on Saturday and 1910 on Sunday.

Key Facts

Start Date:  Monday 1 February
Frequency:  12 return flights per week
Fares:  Lead in economy fare from $159 one way or 8,000 Qantas points
Points:  Earn 1200 Qantas points + 20 Status Credits for a Flex Fare. Earn 800 Qantas points +1- Status Credits for a Red e-Deal 
Bookings: or through travel agents


Newcastle Airport

Newcastle Airport is the gateway to Australia’s largest regional economy, with more than $43 billion annual output and 48,500 businesses. Jointly owned by City of Newcastle and Port Stephens Council, we are governed by an independent, skills-based Board of Directors.

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