back to all news

Qantas returns to the Gold Coast: 3 x daily flights from Sydney

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, Gold Coast, Gold Coast Airport

Qantas will return to the Gold Coast from October 28, some five years after the Red Roo handed over its Gold Coast routes to low-cost sibling Jetstar.

Initial services will run three times per day – timed for morning, afternoon and evening – between Sydney and the Gold Coast.

Gold Coast Airport’s Jetstar lounge will be upgraded to a Qantas Club by year’s end, along with the installation of Qantas’ Next-Gen Checkin system.

Lyell Strambi, CEO of Qantas Domestic, told Australian Business Traveller that Jetstar passengers holding Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum or Gold status would also enjoy entry into the refurbished lounge, compared to the current pay-per-entry lounge.

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.

The current Jetstar flights will remain for travellers with an eye on their budget, with Qantas being positioned to serve the ”premium travel market of premium leisure and business service”, Strambi said.

As a differentiator against Jetstar and Virgin Australia, Qantas will play up its role as “the only airline offering a meal and checked bag to every customer.”

In Qantas’ absence Virgin Australia has ramped up services to the Gold Coast and recently opened an airport lounge for business class travellers and top-tier Velocity Frequent Flyers.

Keep up to date with the latest news for business travellers 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.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 13/8/12 by LR

At long last, this is great news.

2 on 13/8/12 by TheRealBabushka

This is fantastic news! I'm soooo over the commute from BNE!

Will there be a Qantas Club lounge at OOL?

Competition is such a good thing!!!

1 on 13/8/12 by tronixstuff

QF will most likely convert the JQ canteen back to a QC. 

I'm sure David will fill us in shortly. 

1 on 13/8/12 by David

Bang on the money, tronix - JQ 'lounge' will be made over into a Qantas Club, but won't be open until end of year.

3 on 13/8/12 by driley28

Good to know.  Had to fly to the OOL recently and as I cannot stomach Jetstar, I flew Virgin Blue which is not much better than Jetstar.  Qantas is a quality airline and it great to see its return.

4 on 13/8/12 by Neil Clarke

Qantas will have to earn back the loyalty lost from the GC Business flyers.

During the last 5 years most business travellers that I am aware of (including myself) have moved over to Virgin.

Come on Qantas tell us what you are going to to do to retrieve the lost loyalty?

5 on 13/8/12 by radiC00l

This is actually quite annoying. I used to fly weekly on Qantas from OOL to SYD and the sevices were always packed (across the week) and the customers extemely loyal. Only now when Virgin opens a lounge does Qantas respond. Perhaps Qantas should be guided more by its customers than its competitor.

6 on 13/8/12 by sdwylie

Any word on MEL-OOL?

1 on 13/8/12 by David

No, only Sydney for now.

1 on 13/8/12 by sdwylie

They've got specials on their website for MEL-OOL now from 28th Oct! Hooray!

1 on 13/8/12 by David

They're via Sydney, not direct - but still, excellent prices!

7 on 13/8/12 by snoopy7787

ABOUT TIME TOO.I last did a visit to the Gold Coast in 2007 but flew in and out of Brisbane Qantas.And as Good as those commutes were on a Transfer Coach I find it time consuming

8 on 13/8/12 by rob1984

oh look Qantas reacting to competition, surprise surprise. If only they proactively improved services for their customers. Sorry QF you've lost me. Going to have to do better than that!

9 on 13/8/12 by Al

Welcome back, Qantas... as nice as it is to have you here, it's hard to believe you'd have returned to the Gold Coast without Virgin's influence, so that's a big +1 for the benefits of competition!

10 on 13/8/12 by Peggy

It's about time, Qantas.  For the last five years I have travelled to BNE (one hour forty on the train) to take a flight that is shorter than the train ride.  And you are offering business class...thank you

The Gold Coast has an identity crisis.  Does it want to be the Hi-Ho Motel or Palazzo Versace? Kids for Schoolies or the high rollers for the Magic Millions?  If Qantas is finally returning to the GC, they need to look at installing a decent lounge and also air bridges.

11 on 14/8/12 by Peter

Any idea if the newly-rebranded lounge will be moved airside instead of landside?

12 on 14/8/12 by willvill

Dont be fooled for one minute that all of a sudden Qantas are returning for YOU the client. It's all about pitching for the preferred carrier for the Commonwealth games. Just when you were thinking it was being driven by the customers

13 on 15/8/12 by dc

Qantas, you're only doing in response to Virgin and therefor for the wrong reason. We have long memories of when you dumped Gold Coast business's and expected they HAD to fly Jetstar. You won't get me back!

1 on 17/8/12 by snoopy7787

What actually drove them back WILL REMAIN unknown.It's not like we have a shortage of theme parks in the Asia/Pacific Region anymore what with Universal Studios in Singapore and Disneyland as well as Ocean Park in Hong Kong these days and with airfares pretty good value to either place You would be mad to go to the Gold Coast.

14 on 17/8/12 by Richard

It's interesting that Qantas is positioning itself as the upmarket premium airline here, but if you compare their Flexi Fare to Jetstar's Starter Max (both regarded as full economy and 20 SCs, and  the usual choice of business travellers), the Qantas price starts at $169 against Jetstar's $209.

15 on 20/8/12 by DB

Its great to see our national airline finally listening to their customers and returning to the GC. I look forward to seeing the new lounge. This level of service to the GC has been lacking for many years. 

I would suggest the real reason for Qantas returning to the GC is in reality based on increased competition from Virgin for the business market.  Jetstar just doesn't cut it for business customers.

While youre at it Qantas, how about a return to some key destinations such as San Francisco?  I'd love to see a few 777-300 aircraft on that route, under the Qantas brand. 

1 on 24/8/12 by snoopy7787

The next place I would like to see them back is Bali.Not all of us can stomach Pacific Blue or Jetstar offerings or even fit in their seats.I remember my first and only visit to date to Bali in 2000,To This Day I got the better deal even if it was an older plane going over and a brand new one coming back from Sydney with connections to and from Adelaide than my fellow companions who did the same trip but with Garuda.


Related News Items


Australian business traveller newsletter

Get Updates as they happen, tailored to your preferences, right in your inbox


What topics interest you?