Qantas offering cheap flights to regional towns under new plan

Qantas is offering discounts on airfares to Australians living in regional and remote towns to ease the enormous cost of flying to the outback.

The airline has announced it will invest up to $10 million in a new scheme that will give flight discounts to people in 16 towns across Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

It follows a recent federal Senate inquiry into outback airfares, which raised concerns about airport charges and the exorbitant price of plane tickets in regional and remote towns.

Qantas already offers a discount of at least 20 to 30 per cent to residents flying between their home town and their nearest capital city.

Qantas said its new scheme would ease the burden of airfares on passengers in regional and remote Australian towns.Source:News Limited

But under the new plan announced today, the airline will offer bigger discounts to passengers who need to fly during busy periods or have to book flights at the last minute.

Airfares will be capped at $400 per sector when booking one-way journeys or $800 return.

Regional airports and councils have agreed to reduce passenger fees, which are included in airfares.

The program will start straight away in the Queensland towns of Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Longreach, Barcaldine and Blackall, and the West Australian towns of Karratha and Kalgoorlie.

The discounts will be applied to passengers from 16 Australian towns. Picture: AAP/Bianca De MarchiSource:AAP

Qantas is also negotiating fee reductions at Moranbah, Roma and Charleville in Queensland,

Broome, Port Hedland, Newman and Paraburdoo in Western Australia, and Alice Springs and Yulara in the Northern Territory.

While the Senate inquiry did not find evidence of price gouging by airlines, Qantas said it had heard the concerns of people in regional Australia.

“The existing discount program is proving to be extremely popular,” Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David said.

“But some residents have told us that when they need to travel during peak travel periods or at the last minute, for things like funerals or urgent medical appointments, they end up booking our highest fares and paying more or they don’t travel.

“That’s why we are introducing bigger discounts to these bookings.”

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