Cooma and the region’s snowfields will be more accessible this winter after Qantas announced it will operate three new seasonal routes that will open up tourism in the area.
From 1 July to 26 September, Qantas will operate three new routes to Cooma and Albury, providing a gateway to the snowfields of New South Wales and Victoria.
A Sydney to Cooma flight will operate three days per week, while a service from Brisbane to Cooma will operate two days a week. Flights from Brisbane to Albury will operate three days per week.
This will provide greater access to the ski resorts of Perisher Valley, Thredbo and Charlotte Pass in NSW and Falls Creek and Hotham in Victoria.
All flights will be operated by QantasLink’s turboprop Q400 aircraft with more than 15,000 seats available on the routes through winter.
This follows the airline offering flights from Sydney or Melbourne to Merimbula on the South Coast.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said with international border closures the airline was keen to create more travel options where there is demand.
“We’re expecting these flights will be popular with skiers and snowboarders who might not have been able to hit the slopes through COVID last season in Australia or overseas,” said Mr Gissing.
“We’ll be working with the major ski resorts and transport operators to promote these new flights to millions of our frequent flyers around the country, with connections from our large domestic network through Sydney or Brisbane making a trip to the snowfields more accessible.”
The flights from Sydney to Cooma are timed to allow travellers to depart after work on a Thursday or Friday and return Sunday night. The flights from Brisbane will also offer Queenslanders the only direct airline connection to the snowfields this season.
Member for Monaro John Barilaro welcomed the announcement of the three new flight routes to support tourism in the Snowy Mountains this ski season.
“Following the unfortunate decision from REX Airlines to discontinue flights into Cooma, I know that local business owners, hotels and the Snowy Mountains communities are relieved to learn of the new Qantas flights to be introduced,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The Kosciuszko National Park was devastated in the 2019/2020 bushfires and we lost our beloved Selwyn Snow Resort. This, coupled with COVID, has meant the Snowy Mountains’ tourism industry has taken a huge hit in recent times.
The NSW Government last week signed a 40-year lease to ensure the rebuild of the Selwyn Snow Resort.
Fares for flights between Sydney and Cooma are available from $179 one-way and flights from Brisbane to Cooma and Albury are available from $239 one-way.