The first flights between Canberra and Darwin took off on Monday, connecting the two territories directly for the first time in nine years.
Qantas will offer up to five weekly return flights from this week, marking the sixth route from Canberra the national carrier has launched in recent months.
Operated by its smaller regional aircraft, the new route is further evidence of the changes in travel demand since the onset of Covid, with Jetstar, Rex, Link, Alliance and Qantas all announcing new routes from Canberra since September last year.
As of this week, flights are now running from Canberra to Hobart, Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Cairns and Darwin.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the response from customers for the Canberra and Darwin flights had exceeded expectations since the route first went on sale last month.
"With no other airline currently operating on the route, the direct flights will save business and leisure travellers more than two hours travel time on a round trip instead of flying via other capital cities," Mr Gissing said.
"More visitors to Canberra will be great for the local businesses in their recovery from the impact of COVID."
Upping its efforts to compete for the national airline's dominations of the skies, Rex Airline announced flights between Canberra and Melbourne for the first time from this month.
After several delays in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria, the flights are now scheduled to take off from Thursday.
The service, initially set to begin on June 10, had been pushed back to June 18 as Victoria went into a two-week lockdown.
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