QANTASLINK Sydney to Dubbo Bombadier Dash 8 – Q400

QANTASLINK Sydney to Dubbo Bombardier Dash 8 - Q400
QANTASLINK Sydney to Dubbo Bombardier Dash 8 – Q400

It was to be a sequin and glitter free weekend when my friend Bert and I decided to get out of Sydney over the Mardi Gras weekend.  Yes, we were heading to Dubbo in Regional New South Wales and we flew on one of the Qantas group of companies smallest aircraft a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, operated by subsidiary Sunstate Airlines flying under the QantasLink brand.

Early morning departure from Sydney onboard QantasLink Dash 8 Q400
Early morning departure from Sydney onboard QantasLink Dash 8 Q400

It was an early start, arriving at the airport at 7:00 am for the 8:00 am to the Western Plains regional centre of Dubbo. I had travelled through Dubbo some two years earlier on the Countrylink (now NSW Transport) XPT on my way to Nyngan, but this was going to be a much quicker trip than that 6 hour trip with the flight scheduled for arrival at 9:00am. Our high-winged turboprop, a 6 year old Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 – VH QOK,  was delivered to Sunstate Airlines/QantasLink in 2008.

Ready for departure, the view from seat 16A
Ready for departure, the view from seat 16A
Seating and legroom on the Dash 8 - Q400
Seating and legroom on the Dash 8 – Q400

The -Q400 is the newer and larger variant of the Dash 8 series of aircraft in the QantasLink fleet. The all Economy Class plane has 19 rows in a 2-2 configuration, seating 74 passengers, compared to 50 passengers in its sister plane the Dash 8 – 300 and a mere 36 in the Dash 8 – 200 variant. Bert and I were seated in row 16, seats A and B, 4 rows from the galley located at the rear of the aircraft.

The breakfast box onboard QantasLink
The breakfast box onboard QantasLink
Inside the breakfats box yoghurt and friend
Inside the breakfast box yoghurt and friend

After a short roll along the runway and climbing over the southern suburbs with a quick bank towards the west, the two friendly and smiley cabin crew started the light breakfast service. With no trolley, each crew member carried a few boxes through the cabin asking passengers if they would like one, then they’d ‘dash’ back to the galley for more. I was surprised at how quickly and efficiently these two managed to have everybody served within around 10 minutes! Inside the box was a decent sized rasberry Greek yoghurt and a coconut friend. I’m not much of a yoghurt fan, but this was quite nice, (the friend I actually tucked it away and had it for morning tea while touring the Dubbo zoo!)

Juice, water and my friend
Juice, water and my friend
Coffee and tea was also available on this morning flight
Coffee and tea was also available on this morning flight

After the breakfast boxes were handed out, the cabin crew came down the aisle with a drinks service, this time on the trolley. I opted for a glass of O.J and a water while my friend Bert enjoyed a coffee.

Flying over the Western Plains of NSW
Flying over the Western Plains of NSW

The view from my window seat was pretty amazing. From the kaleidoscopic busyness of suburban Sydney, over the blue hues of the Blue Mountains and onto the khaki, brown and blue veined expanse of New South Wales Western Plains, the view was enhanced by the lower altitude this nimble prop jet flew at.

Welcome to Dubbo Regional Airport
Welcome to Dubbo Regional Airport

Our flight was due to arrive at 9:00 am, however it wasnt until bert and I were in the terminal and wondering why the desk for our hire car hadnt opened that we looked at the time and realised we had arrived around a full 20 minutes earlier than expected. O.K now arriving some 20 minutes early isnt something new, but on a flight scheduled for 1 hour, it was super quick.

QantasLink Dash 8 - Q400 after arrival at Dubbo Regional Airport
QantasLink Dash 8 – Q400 after arrival at Dubbo Regional Airport

There is only one other competitor on this route is REX (or Regional Express) flying the smaller Saab 340 seating a maximum 36 passengers. I cant comment on what their service is like as I am yet to fly them. I enjoyed this short regional flight on a comfortable roomy aircraft for a turboprop, no sequins or glitter but comfortable service and free smiles.

FreakyFlier and Bert paid for their flights on QantasLink

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. burt says:

    i find that u just cannot go wrong when flying QFLink!

  2. Moritz says:

    The Dash is a very comfortable airplane. However, it’s a little loud in my opinion (especially in the front rows). Talking about the service on the flight: The breakfast box looks amazing! I’d love to get something like that on inter-European Economy Class flights…

  3. I love how technical you get FF! You’re in a whole different league! I have found Qantas Link flights really good in the past. It has been a while since I took one.

  4. August Rush says:

    Once I flew unaccompanied on American Airlines. I was the only one on the entire plane who got a food box! The couple behind me started complaining about the mushy apple I was getting and how they should have one too.

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