The first Qantas flight from Adelaide to Kingscote, arriving on Monday December 4, marks the beginning of a new era for Kangaroo Island.
QantasLink will operate three to five flights each week between Adelaide and Kangaroo Island, complementing the existing Regional Express (Rex) and SeaLink ferry services.
Later this month, there will also be three flights per week from Melbourne to Kangaroo Island over the summer holiday season.
The launch also marks an industry-first with Kangaroo Island becoming the airline’s first carbon neutral destination.
In partnership with the SA Government, QantasLink will fully offset all flights to KI by supporting new tree planting projects set to deliver local environmental, economic and community benefits, while continuing to drive awareness for Qantas customers to ‘Fly Carbon Neutral’ right across the network.
QantasLink will provide around 20,000 seats a year on its two new KI routes using its 50 seat Q300 and 74 seat Q400 aircraft.
QF2142 departed Adelaide on Monday morning marked by celebrations for 50 customers at the gate and a water cannon salute for the aircraft on the tarmac.
Speaking at the launch, QantasLink CEO John Gissing said, “We’re excited to now be flying direct to Kangaroo Island, saving travellers time and encouraging more local and international visitors to add this beautiful destination to their list”.
Premier Jay Weatherill said, “There are many opportunities for private investors to be part of KI’s bright future.
“Government and privately funded projects totalling $171 million are already proposed or approved across the island.”
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said, “Our government has always believed in Kangaroo Island and we've worked hard to win these new services for the island.”
The Premier’s party were also escorted around the new airport terminal by KI Council CEO Andrew Boardman.
The State and Federal Government jointly invested $18 million to upgrade the Kingscote Kangaroo Island Airport.
The new runway will be complete for the inaugural Melbourne flights on December 17 and the new terminal will open in April 2018.