A THIRD carrier has raised the possibility of making a play for the Tamworth-Brisbane service left vacant when Brindabella Airlines went bust late last year.
QantasLink has joined with rival airlines Skytrans and Regional Express (Rex) to state publicly its interest in connecting Tamworth to the Queensland capital.
The airline’s chief executive officer, John Gissing, was in town earlier last week to brief Tamworth Regional Council on QantasLink’s operations.
He said the council was obviously “very keen” to see the service resume and QantasLink had promised to look into the route’s viability.
“Without creating undue expectations, it is under consideration,” he said.
“We recognise what a crucial piece of infrastructure that service would be to Tamworth.
“In terms of opportunity, we probably don’t have quite the right aircraft, but in summary it’s worthy of a discussion with council and we’ll see if that’s possible.”
In January, Cairns-based carrier Skytrans announced it had commenced preliminary discussions with council, but is struggling to find suitable landing and take-off slots at Brisbane Airport.
Rex has also flagged the possibility recently of taking on the route.
However, its interest is contingent upon starting up on the Tamworth-Sydney service.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the airlines’ interest was welcome, as plenty of locals needed access to Australia’s third-largest city for work, medical care and leisure.
“The Brisbane link is so important to us,” he said.
“We’ve probably still got a fair bit of work to do, but I was encouraged today to get some glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.”