Brisbane to Cairns and Townsville now the busiest aviation routes in Australia

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

As the ructions from Covid-19 continue, the Weekend Australian is reporting the Brisbane to Cairns corridor has now become the busiest flight route in the country, with 53 return flights per week, while Brisbane to Townsville has become the nation's second busiest route with 44 return flights per week. Brisbane to Mackay has moved into third place.

Cairns, pop. 156,525 (regional 244,052), remains Queensland's largest tourist hub outside of the South East corner and has been heavily hit by international and state border closures. The city has 10,008 businesses on Jobkeeper subsidies, the highest of any region in the country, but demand for flights has seen the seat numbers doubled on the flight corridor during the last month. The Cairns airport continues to operate at around 25% normal capacity.

Townsville, pop. 195,430 (regional 238,233), and Mackay, pop. 116,539 (regional 182,303) have economies far less reliant on tourism than Cairns. The Townsville airport saw 58,490 passengers in July, more than the previous three months combined, but down to a third of the normal 170,000 per month average.

Direct air travel between the three centres remains restricted, with Townsville to Cairns down from six to two return flights per day and Townsville to Mackay seeing only one return flight per day rather than the usual three.

QR's Brisbane to Cairns Spirit of Queensland continues to run five days per week, with a four hour thirty-four minute run on the 377km between Mackay and Townsville, the 340km Townsville to Cairns leg taking six hours thirty-eight minutes.

Light and heavy vehicle traffic on the Bruce Highway has noticeably increased in the last two months, reaching or exceeding pre-Covid levels in recent weeks.

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  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
If this piece was advising the Spirit of Queensland was the busiest passenger RAIL route in Australia, it would definitely belong in here...but you are writing about aviation, with scant mention of rail...

Aviation is definitely not related to rail activities in Queensland.

Should be moved to 'NEWS'


Mike.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Surprised at the population numbers for Cairns and Townsville amazing as they are bigger than a lot of towns in NSW.  Hard to not think about what a daily train each way between Townsville and Cairns could do for the population outside of the current timetable for the SOQ.

Would be hard pressed to find a city pair in Australia which did not have at last 3 services per day between them.

When was the last time these cities had a daily service between them?
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
As the ructions from Covid-19 continue, the Weekend Australian is reporting the Brisbane to Cairns corridor has now become the busiest flight route in the country, with 53 return flights per week, while Brisbane to Townsville has become the nation's second busiest route with 44 return flights per week. Brisbane to Mackay has moved into third place.

Cairns, pop. 156,525 (regional 244,052), remains Queensland's largest tourist hub outside of the South East corner and has been heavily hit by international and state border closures. The city has 10,008 businesses on Jobkeeper subsidies, the highest of any region in the country, but demand for flights has seen the seat numbers doubled on the flight corridor during the last month. The Cairns airport continues to operate at around 25% normal capacity.

Townsville, pop. 195,430 (regional 238,233), and Mackay, pop. 116,539 (regional 182,303) have economies far less reliant on tourism than Cairns. The Townsville airport saw 58,490 passengers in July, more than the previous three months combined, but down to a third of the normal 170,000 per month average.

Direct air travel between the three centres remains restricted, with Townsville to Cairns down from six to two return flights per day and Townsville to Mackay seeing only one return flight per day rather than the usual three.

QR's Brisbane to Cairns Spirit of Queensland continues to run five days per week, with a four hour thirty-four minute run on the 377km between Mackay and Townsville, the 340km Townsville to Cairns leg taking six hours thirty-eight minutes.

Light and heavy vehicle traffic on the Bruce Highway has noticeably increased in the last two months, reaching or exceeding pre-Covid levels in recent weeks.
"Sulla1"



I reckon many on this rail site realise the Spirit of Queensland takes longer (6h38m) on the shorter distance (340km)Townsville Cairns route than the slightly longer (377km but quicker (4hr 34m) Mackay and Townsville route due to different track features. Obviously the local know that thus the highway preference.

Glad you also mentioned the aviation traffic to compare with the rail as that is a fact of life that rail operators need to keep in mind. In the 1970s, as well as many other decades, the highly profitable business travel, as separate to the tourist travel segment, was most likely in the hands of the airlines.

1971 TAA timetable to compare with the Sunlander
http://timetableimages.com/ttimages/tn/tn7105/tn715-09.jpg

1974 Sunlander
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwNjN2dVRjN1JoZVk/view
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
As the ructions from Covid-19 continue, the Weekend Australian is reporting the Brisbane to Cairns corridor has now become the busiest flight route in the country, with 53 return flights per week, while Brisbane to Townsville has become the nation's second busiest route with 44 return flights per week. Brisbane to Mackay has moved into third place.

Cairns, pop. 156,525 (regional 244,052), remains Queensland's largest tourist hub outside of the South East corner and has been heavily hit by international and state border closures. The city has 10,008 businesses on Jobkeeper subsidies, the highest of any region in the country, but demand for flights has seen the seat numbers doubled on the flight corridor during the last month. The Cairns airport continues to operate at around 25% normal capacity.

Townsville, pop. 195,430 (regional 238,233), and Mackay, pop. 116,539 (regional 182,303) have economies far less reliant on tourism than Cairns. The Townsville airport saw 58,490 passengers in July, more than the previous three months combined, but down to a third of the normal 170,000 per month average.

Direct air travel between the three centres remains restricted, with Townsville to Cairns down from six to two return flights per day and Townsville to Mackay seeing only one return flight per day rather than the usual three.

QR's Brisbane to Cairns Spirit of Queensland continues to run five days per week, with a four hour thirty-four minute run on the 377km between Mackay and Townsville, the 340km Townsville to Cairns leg taking six hours thirty-eight minutes.

Light and heavy vehicle traffic on the Bruce Highway has noticeably increased in the last two months, reaching or exceeding pre-Covid levels in recent weeks.
"Sulla1"


I reckon many on this rail site realise the Spirit of Queensland takes longer (6h38m) on the shorter distance (340km)Townsville Cairns route than the slightly longer (377km) but quicker (4hr 34m) Mackay and Townsville route due to different track features. Obviously the locals know that thus the highway preference.

Glad you also mentioned the aviation traffic to compare with the rail as that is a fact of life that rail operators need to keep in mind. In the 1970s, as well as many other decades, the highly profitable business travel, as separate to the tourist travel segment, was most likely in the hands of the airlines.

1971 TAA timetable to compare with the Sunlander
http://timetableimages.com/ttimages/tn/tn7105/tn715-09.jpg

1974 Sunlander
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwNjN2dVRjN1JoZVk/view
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Surprised at the population numbers for Cairns and Townsville amazing as they are bigger than a lot of towns in NSW.  Hard to not think about what a daily train each way between Townsville and Cairns could do for the population outside of the current timetable for the SOQ.

Would be hard pressed to find a city pair in Australia which did not have at last 3 services per day between them.

When was the last time these cities had a daily service between them?
NSWGR8022
Agree, but not just daily in FNQ, it should be daily from Brisbane to Cairns with further investment in track quality to reduce the travel time below 5h between the two northern cities. A daily service on a consistent timetable removes the question mark and automatic blocker of "if the train is running". To operate daily, QR would need another CTT set.

The track quality north of T'ville has been a long-term issue and I believe the CTT was never even proposed to operate to Cairns for this reason, rather terminate at T'ville (TTT).

All up further investment into the NCL should be aimed to reduce the CTT to 20h travel time and reduce the RTT travel time to 6h, also benefiting the more significant rail freight sector.

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