Qantaslink flights in and out of Mackay will be reduced until March next year.
Qantaslink flights in and out of Mackay will be reduced until March next year. Alistair Brightman

Mackay flights reduced until March next year

QANTAS is planning to cut the number of flights in and out of Mackay in what it says is a push to reduce last-minute service cancellations.

The reduced number of flights will remain in place until late March next year.

Qantas has announced changes to its Qantaslink schedule in the hope the adjustments will "improve overall reliability”.

QantasLink chief operating officer Jenny Chamberlain said a combination of factors led to issues with availability of aircraft and crew, and that had resulted in cancellations and delays in parts of the regional network including Mackay.

"Because our network is interconnected, this has had a knock on effect to several ports in regional Queensland,” Ms Chamberlain said.

She said the issues were temporary and she was conscious of the impact of delays on the passengers.

"The issues include aircraft maintenance taking longer than expected and many of our reserve flight crew pilots being tied up with training one of the largest intakes of new pilots in our history,” Ms Chamberlain said.

"With fewer reserve pilots, it means we're seeing an increased level of cancellations if several call in sick on any given day.

While the changes will reduce the overall number of flights, Qantas will instead use larger aircraft to maintain capacity.

"In Mackay this means residents will see more 717 aircraft replacing Q400 aircraft, adding more than 20 seats on every flight,” Ms Chamberlain said.

In Moranbah, customers will continue to travel on Q400 aircraft.

"Customers whose flights are impacted by the schedule changes will be contacted directly to let them know about a revised departure time,” Ms Chamberlain said.

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