QantasLink cancels Gladstone to Sydney flights
DIRECT flights from Sydney to Gladstone have left the tarmac for good.
Very low passenger numbers on the QantasLink services have been blamed for the move.
Qantas reduced flights in April, one year after the service began.
Gladstone's airport and tourism leaders supported the route but in the end it came down to passenger support.
The Bombardier Q400 aircraft, which holds 74 passengers and four crew, was flying five direct services a week, which will cease to exist from August 29.
Passengers who booked on the service after August will be offered a refund or rebooking on another service, while the crew will be redesignated on other flights.
Gladstone Airport Corporation CEO Phillip Cash said the corporation had worked with QantasLink to support the service but there just weren't enough passengers.
"While we're obviously disappointed QantasLink won't be flying the Gladstone to Sydney route we understand their rationale," he said.
"I'm glad they gave it a solid run."
Gladstone tourism chief Glenn Churchill said although the door had closed on the Sydney service for now, Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd would continue to work with QantasLink on potential new direct destinations.
He said the retention of all 52 direct flights to Brisbane confirmed Qantas's commitment to Gladstone.
"Our destination tourism plan shows the emerging market is the Chinese market into the Gold Coast - where is the opportunity for Gold Coast to Gladstone?"
A QantasLink spokeswoman said the flights were ceasing due to poor route performance.
"After a thorough review, it was found to be unsustainable to continue flying on the route because of the low passenger numbers," she said.
"We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause some customers, however, they will still be able to travel to and from Gladstone via Brisbane."
THE STORY SO FAR
- Sydney-Gladstone route began March 4, 2013
- Began with eight services a week
- In September 2013, QantasLink retimed its Gladstone-Sydney flights based on customer feedback
- Reduced to five services a week in April 2014
- Direct Sydney-Gladstone flights will end on August 29
- QantasLink's Brisbane-Gladstone services are not impacted