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Qantas adds more pilots, cabin crew and flights to Hobart base

written by australianaviation.com.au | September 16, 2015
The 'Discover Tasmania' QantasLink 717. (Rob Finlayson)
The ‘Discover Tasmania’ QantasLink 717. (Rob Finlayson)

Qantas is boosting its Hobart base with more pilots and cabin crew as it plans to add extra services from the Tasmanian capital to the mainland from March 2016.

The airline says there will be a extra 11 flights a week to Sydney and Melbourne, adding 10 pilot and 15 cabin crew positions to its Hobart base.

The flights, which represent an extra 2,420 seats a week, will be operated by QantasLink Boeing 717.

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QantasLink chief executive John Gissing said the additional services would offer travellers more choice.

“Our new schedule offers more options for QantasLink flights throughout the day, with early morning flights delivering customers to Sydney or Melbourne early enough for a full day of business meetings,” Gissing said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Customers travelling to or from Qantas’ international destinations, such as Shanghai, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Johannesburg, will now have shorter connection times in Sydney and Melbourne.”

Qantas said the extra pilot and cabin crew positions would “almost double” the current workforce.

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Tasmanian Premier and Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Will Hodgman said Tasmania depended on “reliable and regular access” to support the local tourism industry.

“The additional flights and almost doubling of the workforce are an enormous vote of confidence in Tasmania’s thriving tourism industry, which is attracting a record number of visitors, and our strengthening economy,” Hodgman said in a statement.

Qantas’s two-class Boeing 717s have 12 business and 98 economy seats, while the single-class configuration has 125 economy seats.

The new schedule, which kicks in from March 8 2016, shows Qantas operating 13 return flights a week on the Sydney-Hobart route and 33 return services between Melbourne and Hobart.

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6 Comments

  • Ben

    says:

    It is great that Hobart is getting extra services. However if there is more demand/growth there why not send in Qantas mainline 737-800s? I’ve nothing against Qantaslink, I use them regularly, but the fact remains Hobart is the only capital city that does not have regular services directly from our national carrier. Is it only a matter of time before Qantas starts to complement and/or replace the QFlink 717 services? Or are they just holding out to justify pulling the 737 out over a year ago? I know passengers seem to like the 717. Personally I’ve never flown in one. I always end up in a Q300/Q400 to/from Port Macquarie (Maybe QFlink can send the 717 to PQQ one day – Wishful thinking on my part perhaps) However I still think they would be able to justify using the 737 to Hobart – It has been done before so it can be done again. Also a combination of 717 and 737 to Hobart would seem to be more direct competition with VA – they seem to use a combination of E-jets and 737s to HBA.

  • Dave

    says:

    Qantaslink staff are on different pay agreements to mainline staff. Put simply, they get paid less and it is cheaper for Qantas to use Qantaslink to Tas

  • S Rutherford

    says:

    You will see the 737’s back into HBA within a few years. It was all about getting rid of the Hobart staff and being able to contract out the ground handling.

    They did the same thing at OOl, as soon as the period was up they brought back the 737s under contract handling agents.

    The 717s are very unreliable and spend a lot of time either broken on the Ramp at HBA or running very late. They are also running 738’s on some services over the xmas period.

  • Alan

    says:

    This is also about right sizing capacity to the market. The 737’s are too big with 50% more seats at 168 vs 110 seats in the 717. Far better to deploy the 738’s on routes that need the extra capacity.

  • Benji

    says:

    I could be wrong but it was my understanding that all 717 services are operated on behalf of Qantaslink by Cobham Aviation Services on a contractual basis – meaning that Qantas hasn’t really expanded its pilot base at all, rather it is Cobham who have sent more if its pilots an cabin crew down to HBA….

  • Kim Harrold

    says:

    I am a regular commuter to HBA from BNE and a QFF however this route is not serviced by QF
    Virgin provide a great direct service and my velocity points are on the increase
    I’m all for more flights in and out of HBA but it would be nice if QF would consider a direct flight from Brisbane

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