The inaugural flight QF2121 arrived in Griffith from Sydney at midday with local business and community leaders at the Airport to welcome the aircraft’s arrival.
The service will operate daily with the airline’s turboprop 50-seat Q300 aircraft, adding more than 700 seats on the route each week.
Speaking from Griffith to mark the inaugural flight, QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the new route reinforced the national carrier’s commitment to supporting regional Australia.
“As the national carrier, we have an important role to play in driving tourism and supporting the industry in its recovery from COVID-19,” he said.
“We know Australians want to travel so we’ve been looking for opportunities to support new routes where there is demand and help deliver a boost for local businesses.
“We’re working with tourism partners to promote the world-class wineries and fresh produce of the beautiful Riverina region to millions of our frequent flyers around the country.
“This is the first time that the flying kangaroo has flown to Griffith. This service will offer locals more choice and competitive fares on what was previously a monopoly route.
“We think our customers will enjoy the benefits of our premium service, including complimentary food and drinks, baggage and lounge access before they fly out,” Gissing said.
Griffith Mayor, Councillor John Dal Broi said this was a significant occasion for Griffith.
“Griffith City Council is thrilled to welcome Qantas to Griffith,” said Councillor Dal Broi.
“Connectivity to Sydney is critical to our economy and lifestyle and Council is pleased residents and businesses will now have additional flight scheduling options – the introduction of these flights recognises Griffith as a growing regional city with increasing potential.”
“I would encourage you to support the air services on offer and consider flying next time you visit Sydney,” he added.
Qantas is also today launching a new regional route from Melbourne to Merimbula. Since the start of COVID-19, the Qantas Group has announced or commenced flying on 26 new routes across Australia, reflecting new travel demand patterns.
The route launch follows a new suite of initiatives introduced for customers, including a boost to flexibility allowing unlimited flight changes until at least February 2022.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Qantas has introduced a number of initiatives improve safety and peace-of-mind when travelling domestically through its Fly Well program, including masks on board, hand sanitising stations and enhanced aircraft cleaning.