Australians seeking out a quarantine-free holiday in the South Pacific have a new destination to visit.
Qantas has started operating six nonstop flights per week to the offshore Australian territory of Norfolk Island, with three from Sydney and three from Brisbane. Passengers will be flown on Boeing 737 aircraft, and a cumulative number of 2,000 seats are being offered on the routes each week.
The airline says it has launched the two routes in an effort to maintain critical passenger and freight connectivity between Norfolk Island, which lies about halfway between New Zealand and New Caledonia, and the Australian mainland. These flights will initially operate for the next three months as part of a contract awarded to Qantas by the federal government, with the potential to extend for the longer term.
The Australian flag carrier launched flights to Norfolk Island on March 19, the same day that Air New Zealand resumed services on the same routes after a temporary suspension triggered when Australia revoked one-way quarantine-free bubble between the two countries.
Qantas Domestic and International CEO, Andrew David, said in a statement, “We’ll be promoting these new flights to millions of our frequent flyers across the country, with seamless connections from our large domestic network through Sydney or Brisbane, who will have the opportunity to earn and redeem points on flights to Norfolk Island.
“With international borders closed, we know Australians are looking for new holiday experiences and Norfolk Island is a destination that has so much to offer,” David added.
Measuring just 34 square kilometers — about the same size as Singapore’s Jurong Island — the sparsely populated territory is known for its native pine trees and rugged coastal scenery. Another draw is Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area, a 19th-century penal colony that has been protected as part of the World Heritage–listed Australian Convict Sites.
Qantas passengers will depart from the international terminal in Sydney and Brisbane; the scheduled flight time is two and a half hours from Sydney and around two hours from Brisbane. One-way fares from Sydney start from A$412, while tickets on the Brisbane route are priced from A$390.
More information here.