Today (Monday December 4th), QantasLink is operating its inaugural carbon-neutral flights from mainland Australia to the picturesque Kangaroo Island.
The first flights are leaving from Adelaide, from where a year-round service will operate between the two destinations. Flights from Melbourne to the island will follow from Sunday December 17th.
Kangaroo Island is a popular destination among tourists due to its unique wildlife and breathtaking scenery. Traditionally, it has only been reachable by boat, as environmental campaigners were concerned about the effect that pollution from aircraft could have on the island's plants and wildlife.
However, all flights to Kangaroo Island operated by QantasLink will be carbon-neutral, with the South Australian government committing to supporting tree-planting projects on the island to help offset any potential damage.
This forms part of the airline's Qantas Future Planet project, which is striving to make flying a more sustainable form of travel. For example, by planting more trees on Kangaroo Island, the airline and the local government will be supporting its economy, creating jobs and benefiting the island's community.
In addition, the South Australian government has pledged some $171 million to support various projects on the island over the next few years, while the flight path launch is expected to attract an extra 20,000 visitors to Kangaroo Island each year, providing a further boost to its economy.
Jay Weatherill, the South Australian premier, commented: "Kangaroo Island is already one of our state's most popular tourism destination and now, thanks to Qantas, even more people will be able to enjoy the island's premium food and wine, meet the local wildlife and explore the spectacular natural wonders.
"Tourism is one of our state's great growth industries and these new services are expected to see visitor numbers grow further, strengthening ecotourism and creating new investment."