Qantas has launched two new domestic flight routes as the Australian travel and tourism industry focuses entirely on the domestic market.

Qantas will introduce a flight between Sydney and Byron Bay, the first time in nearly two decades the airline has maintained a direct route to the destination.

The airline will also add a Sydney to Orange flight, to give Sydney-siders renewed access to Central New South Wales.

It’s expected Qantas may add more flights as Australians look for domestic holidays, as the Australian international border is closed.

QantasLink CEO John Gissing released a statement saying the anticipated surge in local flights was well underway.

“As the national carrier we have an important role to play in driving tourism and reviving the industry that has been devastated by COVID-19,” Gissing said.

“Byron Bay continues to be an incredibly popular destination for holiday-makers of all types, and was one of the most in-demand destinations for Qantas and Jetstar over the past month,” Mr Gissing said.

Orange and the surrounding region is fast becoming a popular destination for food and wine lovers.

“These flights to Orange will make it easier for Sydney residents to discover one of NSW’s most beautiful regions and its world-class restaurants and wineries.”

The first Qantas flight between Sydney and Byron Bay (Ballina) in 15 years departed today and the airline has confirmed its first ever flights to Orange will start on 20 July.

NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the new services would make it easier than ever for NSW residents to take a country, city or coastal break.

“Tourism is a key industry for NSW’s North Coast, the wine region of Orange and our Harbour City, so these new flights will provide a lifeline for local communities, and a critical link for all travellers,” Minister Ayres said.

“Now there are even more reasons to love NSW with easy access to our pristine beaches, world-class food and wine, and an unforgettable picture-perfect city. We encourage anyone who can take a holiday to book their next NSW adventure now to enjoy these idyllic locations and beyond while supporting tourism businesses at the same time.”

Qantas continues to boost domestic travel markets and more announcements will be made in the weeks ahead.

In another positive boost for local air travel, Rex Airlines said it would launch a competition to Qantas and Virgin, with Melbourne – Sydney – Brisbane fights in 2021.

International Travel appears to be odd the table until at least mid 2021.

Last week no the the Qantas CEO and Prime Minister said overseas tourism was unlikely for another year.