The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout could lead to a jump in domestic travel with more flights expected as the risk of border closures lessens, the Canberra Airport head says.
Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron said travel confidence was expected to grow as the highest risk residents were vaccinated against COVID-19, as the roll out begins on Monday.
Qantas has announced a new service to Byron Bay operating from April, replacing the route taken by Air Pelican until January.
Qantas will run two flights per week between Canberra and Ballina with the turboprop Q400 aircraft seating 72.
The new routes will be begin in April and Qantas said it would "look to continue the service from July in line with demand".
Mr Byron expected airlines would continue to increase services on popular routes, particularly to Sydney and Melbourne as Canberrans itching to get out of the city book ahead.
"We expect a big jump in air travel. I think there will be a large number of Canberrans heading to Queensland and beyond," he said.
"Now is the time to plan."
He hoped the inital stages of the vaccine would put an end to unexpected state border closures which were "detrimental" to the tourism industry.
Mr Byron said the airport had returned to 50 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity throughout the January school holidays but recent outbreaks in Victoria and Western Australia had seen business take a hit.
"We are now down to 30 per cent of our pre-COVID capacity, but it's coming back," he said.
Front-line health workers, aged care and disability care staff and residents and quarantine and border workers will be the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine from Monday.