TALKING POINT | Qantas is handing its Hobart flights over to regional offshoot QantasLink, replacing the current Boeing 737 jets with smaller Boeing 717s from mid-April.
But is this necessarily a backwards step for business travellers who regularly zip across Bass Strait between Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney?
Yes, Qantas' workhorse Boeing 737s will vanish from Hobart skies – but their replacement Boeing 717s have been fitted with new business class and economy seats (plus Q Streaming iPads in case you get bored during the trip).
That's a drop from 168 seats to 110 seats, which Qantas says is all about 'right-sizing' the route and "making sure we have the right aircraft on the right routes in support of leisure and business travel opportunities between Tasmania and the mainland."
The number of Melbourne-Hobart flights will also increase with one extra Hobart-Melbourne return service per day.
Qantas will let go all 35 of its Hobart ground staff, with their roles to be filled by contract workers.
However, local QantasLink contractor Cobham Aviation Services will be hiring approximately 15 pilots and 30 cabin crew to be based in Hobart to cater for the new Boeing 717 service.
In short, Qantas' plan for Hobart has both swings and roundabouts – so how do you rate the change? Is this better or worse for Hobart's business travellers and frequent flyers?
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.