QantasLink gains Moree route license

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QantasLink says it will operate flights from Sydney to Moree until at least March 2018, after it was awarded an exclusive route license by the New South Wales state government.

The regional carrier had been granted interim approval to operate flights to Moree until 21 March after the previous operator, Brindabella Airlines, was grounded and subsequently entered receivership last year.

As a result of the new license, QantasLink says it will add capacity on the route by upgauging most of the services with a 50-seat Dash 8-300, complementing the 36-seat Dash 8-200s used on other services. The carrier will operate a total of 12 return weekly services.

Brindabella also had exclusive licenses to operate flights to Narrabri, Mudgee, Cobar and Cooma.

Transport for NSW says in a separate statement that it is still assessing applications for route licenses from Sydney to Narrabri and Mudgee until March 2018. Vincent Aviation has taken over the Narrabri services on a temporary basis, and is also understood to have applied to take over licenses on both routes.

Regional Express was awarded an interim license for the Mudgee and Cobar routes but chose not to launch services as the authorisation was only valid for two months, and is thus commercially unviable.

Transport for NSW adds that it received no applications for the licenses to Cobar and Cooma and is hence contacting operators who have expressed interests in the past.