TAMWORTH’S QantasLink passengers can expect a reduced number of flights, but slightly larger aircraft, as the airline attempts to reduce the number of cancelled flights.
QantasLink wasn’t able to say how flights would be reduced, as it would vary from week to week, but expected the changes to remain in place until late March 2018.
A spokesperson said residents would see more Q400 aircraft replacing some Q300 and Q200 aircraft on some routes, adding more than 20 seats on every flight.
QantasLink chief operating officer Jenny Chamberlain said the changes were to “improve overall reliability”.
“A combination of factors has recently led to issues with availability of both aircraft and crew, and this has resulted in cancellations and delays in parts of our regional network,” she said.
“Because our network is interconnected, this has had a knock on effect to several ports including Tamworth.
“The issues include aircraft maintenance taking longer than expected and many of our reserve flight crew pilots being tied up with training one of the largest intakes of new pilots in our history.
“With fewer reserve pilots, it means we’re seeing an increased level of cancellations if several call in sick on any given day.
“These are temporary issues, but we’re very conscious of the impact of delays on our passengers.
“To improve overall reliability, we’re making changes to our schedule that reduce the overall number of flights, but instead use larger aircraft to maintain capacity.”
Customers whose flights are impacted by the schedule changes will be contacted directly by QantasLink to let them know about a revised departure time.