Link Airways will launch a new route between Canberra and Hobart on 3 December – if Tasmania sticks to its plan to open borders on 1 December.
The airline has also revealed it has the potential to launch the service earlier, following hints by Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein that movement restrictions could be relaxed in at the end of October.
Tasmania currently requires all residents entering the state to home quarantine for 14 days, and non-residents to undertake the same in a government facility. The ACT has kept its borders open to all states bar Victoria.
The flights will depart Canberra at 9:30am and arrive into Hobart at 11:35am, while the return service will depart Hobart at 12:05pm and land in Canberra at 2:05pm.
The route, serviced by the airline’s Saab 340B Plus aircraft, will initially operate four times a week but there are plans to shift that up to 11 in 2021.
Earlier this month, Premier Gutwein signalled he’s keen to try and open Tasmania earlier than the planned date in December.
“We are not declaring that we will open early [but] I think there is a good chance we would be able to open towards the end of the month [of October],” he said.
“Obviously the circumstances of each of those jurisdictions will be what will inform our decision, as well as our health preparedness, our aged care preparedness as well.”
The announcement brings more good news to ACT residents after Alliance said it would launch a twice-weekly service between Canberra, the Sunshine Coast and Cairns from 23 October.
Canberra Airport’s head of aviation, Michael Thomson, said, “We’re excited to partner with a local Canberra business to connect travellers with Tasmania.”
Regional airline Fly Corporate rebranded to Link Airways in August and operates from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to regional Queensland and NSW, with a fleet of Saab 340B Plus and Metro 23 aircraft.
Link Airways’ current network includes Armidale, Biloela (Thangool), Brisbane, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Inverell, Melbourne (Essendon), Narrabri, Orange, Sydney, Tamworth and Wollongong (Shellharbour).