Qantas have announced their regional subsidiary QantasLink will start flying from Sydney to Bendigo in 2019. This marks the first time the Victorian airport has regular passenger service.

Bendigo Airport recently completed construction of a new 1,600 metre runway, which will facilitate the service. Flights are expected to begin on 31 March 2019 and are already on sale.

Where is Bendigo and Why?

Located around 160 kilometres north of Melbourne, Bendigo is the fourth largest inland city in Australia with a population of around 100,000 people. While the Victorian Gold Rush during the 1850s made it a boom town, things are a little different today.

Businesses such as Bendigo Manufacturing Group, Bendigo Bank and multi-national French aviation business Thales are located in the town. The new QantasLink services will be operated by 50 seat Dash 8 Q300, with morning and afternoon timings to facilitate business and connections. All the details are in this article in the Bendigo Advertiser.

Flight Planning Software Saving Fuel at Qantas

Developed in conjunction with the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics, a new flight planning system is in operation at Qantas. This uses cloud computing to plot the most efficient flight paths using real time data.

An example of what it does is on a flight from Sydney to Santiago. The system diverted the Boeing 747 south of its usual track to take advantage of a tailwind and saved one tonne of fuel in the process. You can read the full article about this in the Sydney Morning Herald article here.

Overall Thoughts

New service to a city that previously had no passenger airlines flying there is always a big deal. Bendigo were clearly looking for it, otherwise they would not have expanded their airport. The city is also one under consideration to be the location for the second Qantas Pilot Academy, with a decision due in early 2019.

Qantas has other airlines interested in purchasing their new Constellation flight planning software, which has taken them five years to develop. Fuel savings were expected to be 0.6% however the Australian airline expects this to be closer to 1%. This translates to millions of dollars saved.

What do you think of these two pieces of news? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons.
Qantas Pilots by Duncan Killick and Qantas via Mashable.