Alliance has announced it will launch a twice-weekly service between Canberra, the Sunshine Coast and Cairns from 23 October.
The move marks the first time the now-booming airline, which has seen profits rise during COVID-19, has offered regular passenger services to the national capital.
The business made the announcement on the day Queensland finally opened its border to the ACT.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he was glad that “common sense has prevailed” so that Canberrans can now visit family and friends in Queensland.
The flights will operate twice-weekly and use Alliance’s 100-seat Fokker 100s.
Canberra Airport chief executive Stephen Byron said, “We are so pleased to be partnering with Alliance Airlines who will offer great value fares, provide Canberrans with access to a fantastic holiday destination and people from the Sunshine Coast an opportunity to experience all our region has to offer, as well as stimulating jobs and growing the air travel market which is a win-win for us all.”
On Thursday night, Queensland finally opened its border to the ACT. However, because it’s still asking those from NSW to quarantine in a hotel, entrants must fly, rather than drive, over the border.
Queensland Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said the opening coincided with the ACT school holidays.
“We’ve been saying for some time now that for Queenslanders, Queensland is good to go, well now for Canberrans, Queensland is good to come,” he said. “Now is the time we would urge them [Canberrans] to start thinking about coming up to Queensland for a holiday.”
Australian Aviation revealed last week how Queensland’s decision to reshut its border to NSW caused Sydney Airport’s passenger traffic to plunge nearly 70 per cent.
In August, the airport welcomed just 91,000 domestic travellers compared with 276,000 in July.
Queensland’s decision has faced fierce criticism from many in the industry in the last two months. In particular, Qantas has launched a petition calling on all states to open their borders. Already, 40,000 people have signed.
The move came alongside the airline sending targeted letters to MPs in states it said did not agree to a road map out of “hard border regimes” during the last national cabinet meeting.