SYDNEY (XINHUS) – Australia’s national carrier Qantas announced yesterday it would open a new flight path between the iconic outback town Broken Hill in far west to New South Wales state capital Sydney.
After nearly two years of disrupted travel, airline Qantas, known for its kangaroo logo, has been forced to look within the nation’s own shores for new avenues to expand the business and satisfy itchy travellers barred from international travel.
The new route will bring the historic mining town founded in 1883 within reach of Sydney jet setters. Located some 1,100 kilometres west of Sydney, it takes a staggering 13 hours to drive to the regional centre surrounded by large stretches of desert.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the service would help open up regional New South Wales for both business and travel, while giving a much-needed boost to the state’s regional economies that have been particularly ravaged by drops in tourism during the pandemic.
“We are constantly looking for new opportunities to stimulate domestic tourism and support small business operators across regional Australia,” said Gissing.
“We know many Australians are eager for their next holiday destination and outback New South Wales has plenty to offer.”
The town, while still primarily a mining hub, also boasts a number of heritage sites including colonial architecture, historical mining locations, and a wealth of natural beauty.
Mayor of Broken Hill Tom Kennedy welcomed the announcement, saying it would provide new accessibility to the town’s population of some 17,000 people.
“I think the community will be very excited to see the arrival of Qantas and to see some competition in the local market. Air travel is of vital importance to our community for tourism, health, and education,” said Kennedy.
Since the start of the pandemic, Qantas has looked internally to expand its flight paths, opening some 52 new domestic routes over two years. The latest addition will begin with 50-seat flights on Mondays and Fridays starting from April 8.