Qantas has resumed Sydney-Gold Coast flights today, four years after the airline handed over the route to low-cost sibling Jetstar.
Initial services run three times per day – timed for morning, afternoon and evening – with other business travel comforts to come.
These will include the upgrading of the airport's former Jetstar lounge to a Qantas Club with capacity for 100 people, which is expected to open by the end of November.
Qantas has already installed a 'tap-and-go' check-in tower for its Next Generation Checkin system – which now goes by the tag of Smarter Faster Checkin – with a self-service bag drop facility also in the works.
The airline has also approached all Qantas Frequent Flyer members in this area with an offer to reinstate the status they held before Qantas left before the Gold Coast, says Qantas Domestic CEO Lyall Strambi.
"I get a real sense that Qantas is getting its mojo back, and it's great to be a part of that" Strambi enthused.
"Queensland is our spiritual home as an airline, and it remains very dear to our hearts and very important to Qantas today."
Strambi cites the Gold Coast’s status as Australia’s sixth-largest city, a growing conference market and the southern sprawl of Brisbane – which puts an increasing number of homes within equal distance of Brisbane and Gold Coast airports – as factors in the Red Roo’s return.
"Aviation is never an easy ride as a business, but I think the timing is right for our return to the Gold Coast... we're going to put our best foot forward and do our best to win the hearts of customers."
Strambi also played the premium airline card against competitor Virgin Australia, which commenced its own Sydney-Gold Coast business class flights almost a year ago and opened an impressive airport lounge in May.
Photo tour: Virgin Australia's Gold Coast airport lounge
"We're the only true premium airline operating out of the Gold Coast offering a meal and a checked bag to all passengers as part of their fare, no matter what time they're flying or which class they're travelling in" Strambi said.
In related news, Platinum-grade Qantas Frequent Flyers and business class travellers will enjoy access to an express security lane at Gold Coast Airport from December 1st.
Get the latest updates for business traveller and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.
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.