Anyone thinking of flying to Melbourne with Qantas will need to be aware of the dates of the school holidays because that is the only time passengers will be able to get directly from Merimbula to Melbourne with the airline.
Qantas has cut flights on its Merimbula to Melbourne route reducing the service to just the school holiday periods.
ACM was alerted to the cuts when a reader tried to book a flight in order to attend a family memorial service in Melbourne, only to discover all Merimbula to Melbourne flights were being shown as transiting through Sydney at a cost of more than $1000 in some cases.
They have now stopped and will restart again as a four times a week service, on December 15 until January 29.
The company said the school holidays were really popular times for the route when most people wanted to travel. The seasonal route will operate according to both Victoria and NSW school holiday times, a spokesperson has confirmed.
Qantas has come in for considerable criticism in recent months with stories of lost luggage, cancelled or delayed flights and customer service problems. The situation was sufficiently severe that it prompted CEO Alan Joyce to make a public apology.
In an effort to deal with its problems, which centre around staffing issues, the company said it was making changes across various routes while waiting for operations to stabilise, something that was due to labour shortages.
"There have been other tweaks across the network," a spokesperson said of the situation.
Qantas launched its flights between Melbourne and Merimbula on March 1, 2021 following the start of services from Sydney to Merimbula in December 2020.
At the time the company said it would operate four weekly return flights with its 50-seat Q300 turboprop aircraft, adding 400 seats on the route each week.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the service would offer locals more choice and competitive fares on what was previously a monopoly route. Regional Express (Rex) continues to operate the route.
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