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airports

Feb 24, 2016

QantasLink increases flights to Wellcamp

Qantaslink will lift its frequency between Sydney and Wellcamp airport, near Toowoomba, to daily double on Mondays and Wednesday from 29 February, as the new airport says travellers

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A long turbo-prop like this Q400 isn't as tiring as a long drive
A long turbo-prop like this Q400 isn’t as tiring as a long drive

Qantaslink will lift its frequency between Sydney and Wellcamp airport, near Toowoomba, to daily double on Mondays and Wednesday from 29 February, as the new airport says travellers it never expected to see start flying the route.

The expansion comes only weeks before Airnorth begins non-stop jet flights between Melbourne and the privately owned airport that opened in November 2014.

The expanded Qantaslink schedule means it will offer 2200 seats return per week on the Sydney route.

The airport’s general manager Phil Gregory said “For many people the benefits of flying directly into Toowoomba or into Sydney and being able to return the same day, makes good business sense.”

QantasLink flights are also timed to provide seamless connections to many Qantas domestic and international services from Sydney, although AirNorth seems set to diminish their attraction for those starting or ending their trips in Melbourne.

Mr Gregory pointed to Wellcamp picking up demand from a new type of traveller, saying “The spike in visitor numbers is staggering given we have promoted inbound tourism with minimal government assistance.

“Many people have and some still consider our region a drive market, but if the figures are anything to go by the balance is starting to change and Sydney visitors are flying here in droves.”

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24 comments

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24 thoughts on “QantasLink increases flights to Wellcamp

  1. ghostwhowalksnz

    But they are being out ‘numbered’ by that ‘other Brisbane airport

    “Sunshine Coast Airport has entered 2016 on a high thanks to continuing growth in passenger trends for the month, half year and 2015 calendar year – and there are more flights to come with Qantas starting its business friendly schedule on February 9.
    The six months from July to December 2015 saw 508,808 passengers use the flight services at Sunshine Coast Airport – a 12% increase year on year and the highest number on record for a six-month period.

    12% increase in passenger numbers, who would have thought but with Qantaslink now flying using B717 jets from Sydney its not surprising, they will have 68,000 seats per year
    What are they flying to ‘Brisbane West ‘ again?

  2. Brown David

    @Ghost, why give them a bad rap? It is good to see Wellcamp building from a ZERO base v Sunshine Coast that has been established for many years. I say, ‘bravo’ for the initiative and having the balls to make such a big investment and having some vision for the future. Wellcamp is well placed to serve a Toowoomba, Lockyer Valley, Darling Downs with easy connection to SYD via QF. And, I would think that the parking is a lot cheaper than BNE too.

  3. Ben Sandilands

    Wellcamp is all about causing economic activity that will benefit its owners. I don’t see them as being in a ****ing contest with Maroochydore which may as well be on a different planet.

  4. Brown David

    Ben, are not all the airport owners in it for their own benefit? Maroochydore is on ‘Planet Queensland’ I think?

  5. Ben Sandilands

    We are in ‘furious’ agreement on that. The ‘underlying’ story about Wellcamp is that it is an insight into flying becoming a regular activity by a far larger part of the population than many people recognise.

    Personal prediction: Wellcamp will see scheduled A330s or 787 sized holiday oriented airlines serving the Asia market before 2021. As will Canberra airport. Many of the customers will by flying open jaws itineraries as the travel trade calls then, arriving or departing from one regional airport and a different, perhaps major city airport, for the other half of the trip.

    The key associated investment opportunity will be in accommodation, as well as continued growth in AirBnb type sellers.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz

    Hold a minute Ben.
    “The airport master plan (Sunshine Coast) proposes building a new 2,450 m (8,040 ft) Runway 13/31 some time before 2020. This would replace the 650 m (2,130 ft) runway 12/30 and allow operation of aircraft larger and with longer range than the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320”

    Whats the bet little old Marcoola 10 km north of Maroochydore gets its international service first( long range that is , its allready got trans tasman)

    Maybe the Wagners could build the runway ? hehehe

  7. Dan Dair

    I’m a well-known fan of what the Wagner brothers
    (& the Wagner sister.!) (old, private joke…. still funny IMO.???)
    have achieved so far at Wellcamp.

    However, since their business-plan is mostly associated with cargo-flights to generate income for their adjacent business park,
    I don’t think the imminent doubling of passenger flights from one to two is going to make the difference for their bottom line just yet.?

    Of course it is an improvement in status & generates a bit more publicity for their business-profile, so it’s all positive stuff.
    Good luck to them.

  8. Bern

    ghost, I’m not sure why you seem so fixated on Sunshine Coast airport ‘competing’ with Wellcamp. They’re quite a long way apart (in fact Google Maps tells me I could drive from Kingsford Smith to Canberra in about 10 minutes less time than I could drive from Wellcamp to Marcoola – traffic notwithstanding!)

    To all intents and purposes, they’re serving different markets, different regions, and will only compete insofar as the Sunny Coast diverts tourists from the Darling Downs. And as was mentioned above, fly in one and out the other might become a popular itinerary for some.

    This, of course, neglects the freight & business travel segment, who really don’t want to fly to Maroochydore when their business is west of ‘Brisbane West’…

  9. John Boxall

    Something is better than nothing – and kudos to Wagners for having a go. As a Melbournian with business and family in the Lockyer Valley and further up the hill, the QF and upcoming TL flights are real time and stress-savers.

  10. Roger Clifton

    There are 11 trains per day from Toowoomba to Brisbane City and other connections. It’s not such a backwater as some might guess.

  11. Brown David

    @Roger – there are only 2 trains per week to Toowoomba from Brisbane – The Westlander on Tuesday and Thursday. Other travel is by bus.

  12. Roger Clifton

    Oops, I was wrong. I misread the listing, it is Greyhound buses that run 11 per day, not trains.

  13. ghostwhowalksnz

    Toowoomba has 11 trains a day – from Brisbane- how cosmopolitan is that!
    Meanwhile Sunshine Coast airport has 9 arrivals a day from Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.
    Perhaps thats unfair as Sunshine Coast has around 350,000 people ( inc Shire of Noosa) while poor old Toowoomba is just too small for a major airport with 170,000. Make that two airports for Toowoomba as the existing users and flights continue from the ‘town’ airport

  14. Allan Moyes

    It’s still a shlep to Toowoomba from Maroochydore if Toowoomba is where you are heading so I don’t understand a certain fixation, mentioned several times on related posts, with MCY as being handy for anywhere except the Sunshine Coast. Even to Brisbane, it’ a pain.

    Why fly to the Sunshine Coast and then have to meander on public transport to your Toowoomba – if there is anything direct, which I doubt? I’d imagine you’d have to go via Brisbane, so you’d be looking at almost 3 hours plus connection time. That’s twice as long as the flight from SYD.

  15. Dan Dair

    It was discussed on these pages last year, that the Wagners were probably subsidising the QFl flights to some tune.?

    I imagine that would amount to guaranteeing QFl the equivalent of a minimum percentage of seats sold.
    Presumably therefore, as the plane starts to fill up, their subsidy decreases.?
    Presumably also, the second aircraft would receive no such subsidy as one would imagine that the second aircraft is a commercial decision by QFl.?

    I wonder aloud whether AirNorth will be getting any kind of subsidy or whether theirs is a wholly commercial decision to instigate the Melbourne route.
    .
    .
    I genuinely believe that all the debate about the value of Wellcamp as a successful passenger airport misses the point.
    IMO Wellcamp will only be a commercial success if they can generate the cargo traffic through the airport & utilise their adjacent business park to make it happen.

    A successful passenger / tourist throughput would be the icing on the cake.
    I don’t believe that the Wagners would ever have thought that passenger traffic alone would justify the amount of money they’ve spent.?
    (albeit, actually very little $’s for what they’ve got for their money)

    What they’ve achieved so far is very impressive, but there’s still a long way to go before they’ll start to see a return on their investment.
    I wonder how close Wellcamp airport is to wiping-their-face as a business entity.?

  16. Brown David

    Wow, really what is the issue here? Toowoomba is the centre for a larger region. There are over 300,000 people within the catchment area of Wellcamp. It is not all about cargo – it is about connecting a region that is much bigger than Wagga Wagga with the wider world. And, the Government did NOT kick in to pay for it. So what if the airport operator pays a subsidy because that is just a marketing cost. We should all be supporting this model and hoping that it opens up the thinking for more regional markets in Australia. We need to start thinking how we can better connect with the massive Asian market and not rely on the Government to make it happen.

    Stop kicking this initiative in the guts and get behind some new thinking.

  17. endeavour.paul@gmail.com

    Interesting on last week’s Landline program on ABC TV, there was a comment regarding air freight of a foodstuff (which I have forgotten) to China.

    The comment was that it sufficient quantities could not be air freighted because all air freight spots have been fully booked up for the forseeable future!

    The dairy boom is filling the planes. Augurs well for Wellcamp in future if they can cut the right deals.

  18. Dan Dair

    “air freight of a foodstuff to China”.

    Even before an earthmover had turned a wheel, that was exactly what the Wagner/Wellcamp people were saying they wanted to achieve with their new airport.!

  19. ghostwhowalksnz

    I checked back, the only item about exporting to China shown recently on ABC Landline was a Victorian company exporting ornamental trees to China ( and the whole business model as well!). There are abalone being exported by air but dont mention problems with getting space.

    The interesting news is that Lindsay Foxs company Linfox has a Chinese airline Hainan Air flying air freighters to his airport at Avalon. Fox has the background and money to make this work as he has the trucks to deliver directly to the airport and the people to do the documentation which is absolutely vital.

    The Wagners know nothing about the freight business ( or an airport) and their airport is destined to fail unless its leased or sold to someone like Linfox.

  20. Agfox

    @Ghost
    “The Wagners know nothing about the freight business ( or an airport)…”

    You must have overlooked Wagners Transport & this information from the website:
    “Wagners has a large fleet of modern vehicles ranging from body trucks to quad trailer road trains providing operational solutions for any transport project…” including:…
    – Heavy haulage capabilities using tri axle drop deck trailers, tri axle and quad floats and dolly combinations”

    Also, have you considered that the Corporation may have some people on its payroll, &/or used Consultants, who know something about airports & that this knowledge was employed when researching Wellcamp & is now employed in its operation?

  21. Dan Dair

    Agfox,
    You’re just being silly now…..

    No successful Australian business would ever use the outside help of business analysts or consultants, before venturing-off into a billion dollar ‘vanity’ project.?
    Hard-nosed businessmen like the Wagners wouldn’t be seen dead with such ‘namby-pamby’ types.?

    Perhaps SACL will utilise the Wagners ‘know nothing about …. an airport’ attitude, to ensure that Badgerys Creek gets built & operational within an equally unrealistic time span to that which Wellcamp achieved.?

  22. endeavour.paul@gmail.com

    Maybe it wasn’t Landline that I saw the reference on.

    Maybe it was The Weekly Times or similar.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/lunar-newyear-australia-newzealand-idUSL3N15I1V9

  23. ghostwhowalksnz

    Interesting to see Wagners transport background- in bulk haulage as you would expect for their mining, construction activities

    “Wagners is a family owned Australian Company with a reputation for delivering high quality products and services internationally. Our focus is on cement, flyash and lime, reinforcing steel, on site concrete supply, energy services, precast concrete, contract crushing and bulk transport, as well as lightweight composite fibre products.”

    “Congratulations to our Project Transport team who have recently completed a seven month project in North West QLD, hauling 445,000 tonnes of crushed ore over a 380 klm lead. The team operated on a 24/7 basis with a fleet of 18 triple road trains.”
    That will all fit well with an airport ?

  24. endeavour.paul@gmail.com

    Geez, the Sunshine Coast Airport must be petrified at the thought that Wellcamp might be successful!

    Why else would there be such angst?

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