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QantasLink today announced it would add further capacity to three key markets in Central Queensland from mid-April.

QantasLink Executive Manager, Mr Narendra Kumar said the increased capacity would further meet demand from regional communities and industries including the resource sector as will as supporting the recovery of three important resource and tourism centres in Central Queensland where communities were affected by the recent devastating floods.

Extra capacity will be added to Mackay and Rockhampton from mid April and to Gladstone during May. These include:

– Eight new services between Brisbane and Gladstone adding approximately 600 seats at peak times, making a total of 99 frequencies and 7206 seats per week;

– Upgrading 11 return services between Brisbane and Mackay resulting in an increase of 572 seats making a total of 4,272 seats each week;

– Upgrading 35 return services between Brisbane and Rockhampton resulting in an increase of 208 seats per week, making a total of 7802 seats per week with 46.5 return services.

“QantasLink operates to 21 destinations across Queensland, more than any other airline, and more than any other state across our network,” Mr Kumar said.

“Regional Queensland has always been central to our operations and, following recent capacity increases, we are ready to extend this across even more of our network.”

Last month, QantasLink added approximately 5,000 additional seats per week across a range of Queensland regional routes, with the arrival of another new flagship Bombardier Q400. Over coming months, Barcaldine, Blackall, Bundaberg, Emerald, Gladstone, Hervey Bay, Longreach, Mackay, Moranbah, Rockhampton and Roma will all benefit from additional and upgraded services to and from Brisbane, with many flights operated by the 74-seat jet-like Q400s.

As the country’s largest regional airline, QantasLink is embedded in regional Australia. With a network of 55 metropolitan and country destinations across all states and territories, the airline also launched its first international, destination – Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea – in July 2010. Services linking Perth and Exmouth in Western Australia commenced on 30 March.

QantasLink has invested more than $850 million in 28 new Q400 aircraft since 2006, with the current fleet of 22 to grow to 28 over the next 18 months. The airline’s fleet also includes five Q200, 16 Q300 and 11 B717 aircraft, with a further two B717s recently announced.

QantasLink is also overseeing the operation of the Qantas Group’s recently purchased Western Australian resources charter airline Network Aviation. Its fleet of eight aircraft is also set to grow, with the addition of a further 10 Fokker F100s.

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