Qantas announced on Wednesday two new NSW routes including service between Sydney and Byron Bay (Ballina) for the first time in 15 years as well as first-time ever flights to Orange from July 20th. Qantas Group subsidiary Jetstar has also resumed New Zealand service.
Yesterday (July 1st, 2020), Qantas announced the launch of two new NSW routes including the first flight between Sydney and Byron Bay/Ballina (which took place yesterday) in 15 years and first ever service to Orange starting July 20, 2020. The new routes are part of Qantas and Jetstar’s ramp up of domestic flights to 40 percent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of July. Qantas has noticed a significant spike in bookings as Australians take to the skies after months of lockdown. In Wednesday’s announcement, QantasLink’s CEO, John Gissing said,
“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. These additional flights are coming at the right time for families who’ve spent much of the recent months confined to their homes and are looking forward to getting out and exploring their own State. While our business has been challenged like never before by COVID-19, the launch of these flights is another step towards a recovery and getting more people back flying again. Byron Bay continues to be an incredibly popular destination for holidaymakers of all types and was one of the most in demand destinations for Qantas and Jetstar over the past month. After years of locals calling for the flying kangaroo to fly to Orange, the iconic red tail will touch down there for the first time in a few weeks. We are bringing much needed competition to this route, which has been a monopoly for many years. These flights to Orange will make it easier for Sydney residents to discover one of NSW’s most beautiful regions with its world-class restaurants and wineries.”
QantasLink will operate daily return flights between Sydney and Byron Bay (Ballina) and the route will be operated with a De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 (formerly called Bombardier Q400). Three weekly return flights will be offered to Orange from July 20, 2020 and the route will be serviced with a Q200. Qantas guests can book now with confidence as the carrier allows the date of flights to be changed once without a change fee. Customers must pay the fare difference, if any for the new booking.
In a separate announcement on Wednesday (July 1st, 2020), Qantas Group subsidiary Jetstar announced the resumption of service in New Zealand. Yesterday, after over three months of lockdown, the carrier served over 2,000 guests who were eager to reunite with loved ones and boost local economies. The initial relaunch includes 75 weekly return flights to five destinations including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown, representing approximately 60 percent of the carrier’s pre-pandemic offer. In Wednesday’s announcement, Jetstar Group’s CEO, Gareth Evans said,
“We know there is a lot of pent up demand for air travel in New Zealand and we’ve seen a strong response from customers snapping up our low fares, booking and planning flights for the weeks and months ahead. Our return to the skies will get more people out into communities that rely on tourism and bring a much-needed boost to local businesses. It also means more of our New Zealand team members are back to work, which is great news. In addition to the measures we already have in place such as extra cleaning and hospital-grade HEPA filters onboard, customers will notice a number of differences when they fly such as masks and sanitizing wipes, to provide extra peace of mind. We’re really excited to be back in the sky in New Zealand and we look forward to welcoming our customers on board.”
Source(s): Qantas, Jetstar