Qantas is boosting flights to the Queensland resources industry hub of Gladstone, with eight weekly flights from Sydney planned to start in March 2013.
Previously, travellers would have connected through Brisbane.
"Today QantasLink proudly provides customers from Gladstone with access to more destinations than any other airline, a new Qantas Regional Lounge and more seats at peak times through the introduction of Boeing 717 jet services to Brisbane," Qantas Domestic CEO Lyell Strambi said, spruiking his airline's offering.
Flights will run eight times a week, with a double-daily return on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Qantas says that's a total of 1200 seats available per week.
Qantas will use a Q400 propeller-driven plane from regional subsidiary QantasLink in an all-economy class 2-2 layout -- a layout that might well prove cramped for the relatively long flight of just over 1100 km.
Business travellers valuing comfort over direct flights -- or who'd have to connect in Sydney anyway -- would likely prefer to connect via Brisbane so that less of their overall journey takes place on the Q400, with its noisier cabin, smaller seats and lack of business class.
Top tip: Try to pick the Boeing 717 jet instead if timings are convenient: it's a bit faster, more comfortable and less noisy, especially if you pick a seat up the front.
For the very latest on the battle between Qantas and Virgin Australia for resources sector passengers, follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.