Airline to launch flights between Sydney and Canberra using a seaplane

It used to be the only way to fly in and out of Sydney, but seaplanes being used as a form of transport or commuting rather than sightseeing had been a thing of the past, until now.

Sydney Seaplanes, which operates a fleet of sightseeing aircraft around Sydney, has applied for authorisation to begin a commuter flight between Sydney and Canberra, using a seaplane.

The company wants to operate flights between Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin and Rose Bay in Sydney Harbour three times a day.

Sydney Seaplanes has managed to glide over the first hurdle, the National Capital Authority has agreed to a demonstration flight to take off and land at Lake Burley Griffin.

With just 15 passengers per flight, and the central location of their seaports in both Sydney and Canberra, the time spent travelling to the aircraft and checking in, would take at least an hour off the current conventional flights out of Sydney's Kingsford Smith International Airport.

Airfares would be around NZ$310 for a one-way ticket, putting it in line with other airlines' full airfare options.

Which would be faster? Seaplane or Airplane:

If you were travelling from Martin Place in central Sydney to Canberra on a seaplane, first you'd need to drive the seven kilometres to Rose Bay, which takes around 15 minutes.  Then, an hour long flight to Canberra, and once you've pulled up alongside the shoreline, there's a short six minute drive to the Australian Parliament buildings.

That's a total travel time of 81 minutes.

Travelling by air, the drive to Sydney's Kingsford Smith International Airport, a distance of around 10 kilometers can take as much as 45 minutes, but let's go with a drive time of 25 minutes.

Then there's the flight time from Sydney to Canberra which Qantas lists as 55 minutes, which seems like a bit of an overestimation given the seaplane only takes five minutes longer.

Once you're in Canberra, Parliament is only 10 minutes drive away. 

So, a total travel time of 106 minutes.

"Flight time is an hour from Sydney Harbour to Lake Burley Griffin and that would by far be the fastest way of getting to the centre of each city," Sydney Seaplanes managing director Aaron Shaw, said.

"We're hoping that with the convenience of the centre-of-city to centre-of-city that we're going to be able to entice some people off the road as well."

Historically, flights between Auckland and Sydney first began using seaplanes. The first in 1940 was named Aotearoa.