QantasLink has returned to Kangaroo Island for the first time in more than a decade, with the inaugural service touching down at Kingscote Airport on Monday.
Flight QF2142, operated by de Havilland Dash 8 Q300 VH-TQY, landed a little after 1115 on Monday, after a short 20-minute, 68nm, hop from Adelaide.
The aircraft was on the ground for a little under an hour before operating the return service QF2143 back to Adelaide.
QantasLink will fly five times a week between Adelaide and Kingscote with 50-seat Q300s until April 1 2018. From April 2, the route drops back to three flights a week.
The airline said Kingscote would be its first carbon neutral destination, with all flights to be fully offset through tree planting projects in partnership with the South Australian government.
QantasLink chief executive John Gissing noted more than a third of Kangaroo Island was national parks.
“We’re pleased to be promoting Kangaroo Island as an environmentally sustainable tourism destination by supporting new carbon offset projects on the Island and encourage Qantas customers to do the same when they fly on other parts of our network,” Gissing said in a statement.
“We appreciate the support of the South Australian Government, Adelaide Airport and the Kangaroo Island Council to enable more visitors to experience this world-class destination.”
QantasLink will also operate seasonal three times weekly Melbourne-Kingscote nonstop flights with 74-seat Q400s starting on December 17 and running until January 28 2018.
Kingscote Airport was recently upgraded in a project jointly funded by the South Australian and Federal Government at a cost of $17 million. The works included runway extensions and a new terminal building capable of handling security screening.
Regional Express (Rex) currently operates between Kangaroo Island and Adelaide up to three times daily with its 34-seat Saab 340s.