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.
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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.