Qantas and Jetstar Expand Domestic Flying as Travel Restrictions are Lifted
Qantas announced on Thursday an increase in domestic flying in June and July by the carrier and their Jetstar subsidiary as travel restrictions are eased. The new flights will increase the Group’s capacity from around five to 15 percent, with over 300 weekly flights.
Today, Qantas announced an increase in domestic flying from around five percent to 15 of pre-pandemic levels by the end of June. The carrier and its Jetstar subsidiary will offer more than 300 weekly return flights by the end of June. As travel restrictions are lifted and demand increases, the Group will add additional flights in July to increase their capacity by up to 40 percent of their pre-crisis domestic levels. The additional flights include more service on capital city routes such as Melbourne-Sydney as well as routes to/from Canberra. The new schedule also includes increased intra-state flights for Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia as well as more flights to Broome, Cairns and Rockhampton. Qantas will also resume flight on eight routes that are not currently being operated and will commence flights from Sydney to Byron Bay (Ballina). In Thursday’s announcement, Qantas Group’s CEO, Alan Joyce said,
“We know there is a lot of pent up demand for air travel and we are already seeing a big increase in customers booking and planning flights in the weeks and months ahead. We are gradually adding flights in June as demand levels increase, which will go from 5 percent of pre-crisis levels currently to 15 percent by late June. We can quickly ramp up flying in time for the July school holidays if border restrictions have eased more by then. Normally, we plan our capacity months in advance, but in the current climate we need to be flexible to respond to changing restrictions and demand levels. The one million people who work in tourism around Australia have been really hurting over the past few months. These additional flights are an important first step to help get more people out into communities that rely on tourism and bring a much-needed boost to local businesses. Customers will notice a number of differences when they fly, such as masks and sanitizing wipes, and we’ll be sending out information before their flight, so they know exactly what to expect and have some extra peace of mind. Importantly, the Australian Government’s medical experts have said the risk of contacting Coronavirus on an aircraft is low.”
Qantas and Jetstar domestic customers can change the date of their flights one time without paying a change fee. Bookings need to be made prior to June 30, 2020 for travel from June 12, 2020 and October 31, 2020. Customers will be responsible for paying any fare increase, if applicable. Qantas Frequent Flyers using points to book a Classic Flight Reward seat can change the date of their flight or cancel their booking free of charge through October. If Qantas cancels a flight, customers will be rebooked on the next available flight at no additional cost. Customers can also choose to receive a flight credit or refund.