NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has called on QantasLink to give frustrated passengers “a fair go”.
The Armidale-Sydney service has been beset with delays ever since QantasLink relocated to Sydney Airport’s terminal 3 in August.
The airline had promised customers the move would result in “smoother connections, reduced check-in times and improved access to Qantas’ premium lounges”.
But Mr Marshall said he had been inundated with complaints from constituents, which prompted him to raise the concerns in state parliament on Tuesday.
“The delays are not just causing frustration, but in some cases significant expense,” he told The Northern Daily Leader after his address in the Legislative Assembly.
“In some cases flights are leaving 90 minutes late and (on Monday) it was more than two hours late.”
Speaking in Parliament, Mr Marshall said every delay had wideranging implications for the region’s business, health and education sectors.
“This situation is affecting not only general commuters and people travelling from remote areas to conduct business, but also those attending important medical appointments,” he said.
“The flight bringing in the only private psychologist who visits Armidale was recently delayed by more than 90 minutes.
“As a consequence, the doctor’s first three patients had their appointments cancelled and they will now have to wait another six months for treatment.”
Armidale Dumaresq Council deputy mayor Jenny Bailey said because regional centres were so dependent on professionals commuting from capital cities, it was essential to have a reliable service.
“It’s absolutely vital,” she said.
“We should, in this day and age, be able to rely on a regular and punctual service and I know that’s not the case anymore.
“Armidale is a regional airport and we provide the service for not just Armidale, but Inverell, Glen Innes, Tenterfield and so on.
“I was tending to think that it was probably just related to the congestion issue generally, until someone pointed out that it did coincide with the change in the terminal.”
A QantasLink spokesspokesman said: “Ontime performance can be impacted by a range of factors, including weather and air-traffic control.
“On-time performance continues to be a major focus for QantasLink on all routes, including Armidale.”