You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The domestic flights helping Australians enjoy holiday during COVID

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 7/10/2020 Charlie Coë For Daily Mail Australia
a group of people riding horses on a beach: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Regional flight routes have surged in popularity among travellers as Australians explore new holiday options amid widespread border closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Qantas travel data showed Brisbane-Cairns emerged as its most popular domestic route during the September school holidays - up from 14th place the same time last year.

Holidays within Queensland have boomed with the state's border only open to South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and the ACT.

Second on the list was Perth to Broome - a route rising to second from 20th - as Western Australians made the most of in-state travel during WA's hard border closure.

a person standing next to a body of water: Brisbane-Cairns has emerged as Qantas' most popular domestic route during the September school holidays. Pictured is the coastline near the far north Queensland city © Provided by Daily Mail Brisbane-Cairns has emerged as Qantas' most popular domestic route during the September school holidays. Pictured is the coastline near the far north Queensland city

Brisbane to Townsville in central Queensland was another in-demand regional route up from 11th to third place, while Sydney-Adelaide and Canberra-Brisbane were the only trips in the top five crossing state lines.  

'We know there's huge pent-up demand for air travel and we've seen families travelling to new places during the school holidays because they weren't able to get to their traditional holiday destinations,' Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David said.

'We've added more flights to these popular destinations and launched new routes where we’ve seen demand.'

New South Wales residents have meanwhile made the most of effectively being confined to their own state during the pandemic.

Qantas launched flights to Byron Bay from Sydney in June for the first time in 15 years, and the airline said frequencies on the route have quadrupled on some days to keep up with demand.

a group of people riding on the back of a horse: Tourists ride on camels on Cable Beach, Broome in northern Western Australia. The state's residents have made the most of in-state travel during WA's hard border closure © Provided by Daily Mail Tourists ride on camels on Cable Beach, Broome in northern Western Australia. The state's residents have made the most of in-state travel during WA's hard border closure

Qantas' most popular domestic routes during September school holidays compared to 2019

 2020

1. Brisbane-Cairns – up from 14th last year

2. Perth-Broome – up from 20th last year

3. Brisbane-Townsville – up from 11th last year

4. Sydney-Adelaide – up from 8th last year

5. Canberra-Brisbane – up from 17th last year 

 

 2019

1. Melbourne-Sydney

2. Brisbane-Sydney 

3. Brisbane-Melbourne 

4. Adelaide-Melbourne 

5. Melbourne-Perth

Virgin Australia said the Brisbane-Hamilton Island route had become its 'standout performer'.

Other domestic routes created by airlines in response to changing travel habits include Canberra to Ballina on Pelican Airlines, Sunshine Coast to Cairns on Alliance and Canberra to the Gold Coast on QantasLink.

Jetstar is also launching a Gold Coast to Hobart route from December 1.  

a close up of a pier next to a body of water: File image of Brighton Beach Jetty in Adelaide at sunset. Sydney-Adelaide was the fourth most popular Qantas domestic route during the school holidays © Provided by Daily Mail File image of Brighton Beach Jetty in Adelaide at sunset. Sydney-Adelaide was the fourth most popular Qantas domestic route during the school holidays

On Wednesday, Virgin Australia announced it was offering 20 per cent off flights across the country in a bid to stimulate domestic travel during the pandemic.

Until midnight on Friday morning, jet-setters can claim the reduction on selected fares between October 14 and December 9 in both economy and business class.

The offer is only available to customers who use the airline's mobile app. 

a person in a canyon: Two tourists enjoy a trip to the falls at Alligator Creek, Townsville in central Queensland. Brisbane to Townsville was another in-demand trip - up from 11th to third place in Qantas' most popular regional routes © Provided by Daily Mail Two tourists enjoy a trip to the falls at Alligator Creek, Townsville in central Queensland. Brisbane to Townsville was another in-demand trip - up from 11th to third place in Qantas' most popular regional routes

Virgin Australia has also launched a sale fare of $129 on seats to Hamilton Island from Brisbane as part of a partnership with the Queensland government.  

Those fares - which are available until they run out - are for travel dates between October 12 and December 13.

'We expect this service to generate $1.36 million in overnight visitor expenditure over the duration of Queensland Government support,' Queensland’s Tourism Minister Kate Jones said. 

Read more

More From Daily Mail

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon