Qantaslink service concerns Mayor

He is calling on Qantas decision makers to reciprocate some of the loyalty shown to it in recent years by the Maranoa Regional Council and the local community.

“One of the keys to our loyalty has been the ability of our residents to access affordable fares and regular flights”, the Mayor said.

“Those factors can no longer be taken for granted in the current environment and in some cases have already been withdrawn.”

Flights to and from Roma are just half what they were in the same period last year and the Mayor insists that should not be a reason to reduce the number of ‘local fares’ and economy seats on those flights.

“We always anticipated a reduction in flights as the resource sector wound down their major construction projects. However, Qantas really should now be working with us to optimise the current and future air schedules for Roma.”

Cr Loughnan believes the Qantas economy fares have been all but eliminated.

“Those fares have escalated in price by about 50% over the past two years so the word ‘economy’ can no longer be used to describe them. Likewise the ‘residents’ fares have increased in cost to become pretty close to unaffordable for most, particularly when the option of a return flight on the same day is rarely achievable.”

The Mayor said his Council and community had always supported Qantas and recently advocated that the Brisbane – Roma – Charleville route should remain a State Government regulated air route. That decision essentially guaranteed Qantas a lucrative monopoly at a time of great profitability.

The Mayor has called for urgent discussions and the return of a Qantas regional liaison officer to help work through some of the issues that are likely to frustrate users of the QantasLink service over coming weeks and years.

“Given our investment in the Roma Airport, we really deserve an on-going air service that is going to benefit our residents and not just those involved in the resource sector.”