Think of air transport in Australia and the name Qantas will probably spring to mind. Australia’s national carrier has become a byword for safety and reliability and has consistently been voted in user polls as one of the best 10 airlines in the world. With ninety years history behind Qantas as you’d expect they have taken air transport to high levels.
An efficient air transport network is vital to the economy of Australia.
If you are a visitor to Oz and want to take in a lot of cities across this vast country then flying might be the best option. Generally Australian airports are of a pretty high standard, easily accessible, and car hire readily available. There are around nineteen major airports and scores of smaller ones scattered around Oz, including some in the outback. Information on the Australian Airport Guide is available providing details include the address, telephone + fax number, email, airport code and timezone for each and every airport in Australia.
To put the size of Oz into perspective: If you were to take a flight from somewhere in the UK to, say Spain, it would usually take about 2 hours or so, depending on where your exact destination in Spain was. Fly for 4 hours and likely you’d end up in another continent, North Africa.
On the other hand, a flight from Brisbane on the east coast of Oz to Adelaide on the south coast would take around 2 hours. A 4 hour flight is the minimum time it would take to fly from say Melbourne in the south to Darwin in the north. The flight distance from Melbourne to Darwin is 1,951 miles / 3,140 km.
Flights to the major cities in Australia are available from most corners of the world. From far off places like the US and the UK stopovers are taken so travellers even get to see some interesting places on their way. Some of the exotic stopovers include Bali, Bangkok, Dubai, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. There’s a lot of competition out there to take passengers from places like the UK to Australian destinations, so do take the time to search for the best deals. Airlines based in south east Asia seem to have some of the lowest airfares, and have a good reputation for service.
Popular Oz Air Transport Carriers
Don’t just think of air transport in Australia beginning and ending with Qantas though. There are a number of other carriers who do an excellent job, and have some very good deals. The main budget airlines which also service destinations outside of Australia are Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Tiger Airways.
In addition there are carriers who operate in more limited regions, though by any standard they still cover a huge area.
Regional Express, for example, is Australia’s biggest regional airline. They provide air transport to 35 destinations throughout New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland. Rex, as it is more commonly known, was recently awarded the accolade of being the world’s Top Performing Regional Airline by Aviation Week and Space Technology (AWST). Rex beat off some tough competition along the way.
Air transport in Oz actually includes a number of very efficient regional carriers, two of the larger ones covering some of the smaller cities in Western Australia and the Northern Territory are Skywest and Airnorth.
Some airlines offer good deals to backpackers. The best thing to do is check those websites giving specific information about backpacking and travel. They will often be up to date with current offers for backpackers who wish to fly within Oz.
Chartered Forms of Oz Air Transport
Among the chartered airlines are Vincent Aviation, with bases in Wellington, New Zealand and Darwin, Australia. Air South is an Adelaide based air charter company. It was established in the early 1990′s and has since grown to provide an array of services from resource sector fly-in-fly-out, freight, personalised air charter and emergency transfers.
Obviously being such a large country there is a need for freight to be transported quickly and efficiently. Apart from roads and railways freight is also carried via air transport. Some airlines specialise in just freight movement. Others carry both passengers and freight.
Handling around 350,000 tonnes of air freight each year, Melbourne Airport is viewed as the freight hub for Australasia. Around 30% of this market in fact passes through Melbourne.
And, at certain times of the year, Qantas even have tourist flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Antarctica, a mere 1,000 or so kilometres away. During 2012 antarcticaflights.com.au have flights arranged for 12 February 2012 (Departing Sydney) and 31 December 2012 (Departing Sydney & Melbourne). As you might expect, these tours don’t come cheap, and passengers can expect to pay anything from $999 to $7299 depending on seating position, class etc.
Without doubt both residents of Australia and tourists alike can’t fail to be impressed by the access to reasonably priced air transport in Oz.