QantasLink has said that it would commence a new weekly seasonal service between Port Macquarie and Lord Howe Island from February 2007. Qantas Group General Manager Regional Airlines, Mr Narendra Kumar, said Port Macquarie would become the third mainland port to have direct QantasLink services to Lord Howe Island. Mr Kumar said QantasLink would operate the 36-seat Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft on the route every Saturday in the autumn season from 17 February until 19 May 2007. “QantasLink began flying to Lord Howe Island in 1991 and currently operates up to 11 return services each week from Sydney and two return services each week from Brisbane during the peak season,” he said. “World Heritage-listed Lord Howe remains an extremely popular destination and QantasLink has worked closely with the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and the Lord Howe Island Board and Tourism Association to make this new service a reality. “The increasing business synergies between the Port Macquarie and Lord Howe Island communities and a growing demand for leisure travel from the mid-north coast of New South Wales will provide a new opportunity to further increase visitors to the island.” “The Dash 8 offers a comfortable, pressurised cabin as well as an onboard restroom, and our services include complimentary refreshments, such as tea, coffee, water, juice and snacks,” Mr Kumar said. “Customers on the new services will also have access to seamless transfers onto other Qantas and QantasLink flights, and will be able to earn and redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points.” QantasLink currently operates more than 1,850 flights each week, serving 48 destinations throughout Australia. This includes 33 return services each week between Port Macquarie and Sydney. Flight schedules and air fares for the new Port Macquarie to Lord Howe Island services will be announced in coming weeks.