Qantas Group gears up for expected Easter travel surge

Jetstar & Qantas 787 Dreamliner at Sydney Airport
Bidgee, CC BY-SA 3.0 AU, via Wikimedia Commons

With the Easter holiday season in the offing, Australian flag carrier Qantas has outlined its preparations to cope with the expected increase in travel demand.

Domestic capacity increases


Citing its strong operational performance in the opening months of 2023, Qantas says that it is well placed to keep increasing capacity to meet continued high levels of travel demand.

As of next Monday, Qantas will significantly increase flights on the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane triangle by 57 additional return services per week, increasing capacity by 11 points to 93 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

Qantas is also adding seats on transcontinental services to-and-from Perth using the airline’s Airbus A330 fleet.

Following this change, around 50 per cent of Qantas’ flights from Melbourne and Sydney to Perth will be operated by widebody aircraft.

New fleet aircraft


Over the next six months, the carrier’s subsidiary airline Jetstar is boosting its domestic and international flying capacity by around 15 percentage points.

Jets star will further bolster its fleet with another four new Airbus A321neo LR aircraft to be inducted, bringing the total number of these next-generation aircraft to nine.

The airline is also adding a fourth weekly flight over the Easter holidays on its popular Melbourne to Western Australia’s Margaret River (Busselton) service, boosting capacity by up to 1000 seats over the peak.

Overall, Group domestic capacity will increase to 102 per cent in the April quarter, up from 98 this quarter.

International services


Qantas and Jetstar are also both set to expand a number of international services from 26 March onwards as the global airline industry continues to recover, including:

  • Qantas Melbourne-Tokyo (Haneda) restarts
  • Qantas Melbourne-Singapore increases from daily to up to 10 per week
  • Qantas Brisbane-Singapore increases from six per week to daily
  • Some Qantas Sydney-Hong Kong service up-gauged from an A330 to a A380 until June, when its Melbourne-Hong Kong service resumes
  • Jetstar to launch new Brisbane-Auckland service
  • Qantas to commence Melbourne-Jakarta service from 16 April.

Easter preparations


The increase in both domestic and international capacity comes as the Group gears up for another busy Easter holiday period.

Qantas and Jetstar expect to carry several million passengers across the three-week school holiday period.

Across the Easter long weekend (Thursday 6 April to Monday 10 April) more than 700,000 passengers are expected to travel on almost 5,300 domestic and international services across the Group.

Both Qantas and Jetstar will have additional employees and up to 20 aircraft on standby to provide additional buffer.

Industry partners will have extra staff, with a particular focus on security screening points at peak times.

February performance


In the lead up to the Easter peak season, Qantas have also disclosed their February performance statistics.

The carrier was the most on-time domestic airline in February, the sixth consecutive month it has beaten its major competitor.

Almost eight out of ten Qantas flights (78.3 per cent) departed on time during the month, in line with pre-COVID performance levels.

Cancellations were reportedly higher across the major airlines due to the impact of weather, including Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle and major thunderstorms in Sydney.

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