LONDON – With the announcement from the Australian government that the country will continue to open its borders to the world, Qantas and Jetstar have begun gearing up for accelerated high demand for air travel during the summer. Qantas and Jetstar are bringing forward more international flights to popular destinations from Sydney and are looking to operate regular services to Delhi when the border opens on November 1, which would be the first time commercial flights for Qantas between Australia and India in over a decade.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “Australians rolling up their sleeves means our planes and our people are getting back to work much earlier than we expected. This is the best news we’ve had in almost two years and it will make a massive difference to thousands of our people who finally get to fly again. We know that Australians are keen to get overseas and see friends and family or have a long-awaited holiday, so bringing forward the restart of flights to these popular international destinations will give customers even more options to travel this summer.”
The updated international schedule for Qanats and Jetstar is as follows:
- Sydney to Singapore: Qantas flights will resume on 23 November 2021, four weeks earlier than scheduled, operating three days per week with A330 aircraft. Services will ramp up to daily from 18 December 2021. Jetstar will fly from Melbourne and Darwin to Singapore from 16 December 2021.
- Sydney to Fiji (Nadi): Qantas flights will be brought forward to 7 December 2021 from 19 December 2021. Four return flights a week will be operated by 737 aircraft. Jetstar flights to Fiji will resume on 17 December 2021. Within 48 hours of Fiji announcing its reopening, Jetstar saw a 200 per cent increase in sales versus pre-COVID levels, selling more fares than a typical seven day period.
- Sydney to Johannesburg: Qantas flights will resume on 5 January 2022, three months earlier than scheduled. Three return flights a week will be operated by 787 aircraft.
- Sydney to Bangkok: Qantas flights will resume on 14 January 2022, more than two months earlier than scheduled. Five return flights a week will be operated by A330 aircraft.
- Sydney to Phuket: Jetstar flights will resume on 12 January 2022, more than two months earlier than scheduled. Three return flights a week will be operated by 787 aircraft.
Qantas has also confirmed that it will b bringing back two of its A380s earlier than expected and it is also currently in talks with Boeing about the possibility of having the delivery of three of their new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which have been in storage for most of the pandemic. The carrier had originally planned to bring its A380s out of their long term storage at the end of 2023, with the Qantas Group announcing in August that it would be upgrading the cabins on five of its A380s which would enter service from July 2022, however, with the news from the Australian government about the easing of restrictions the carrier has brought this date forward three months, with two A380s now getting ready to be taken out of storage by the end of the year so that crews can begin to train on the aircraft again.
Mr. Joyce added: “Our customers and crew love flying on our flagship A380s, so news that they are will be back flying to Los Angeles again from April next year will be very welcome. The Federal Government’s support to ensure our aircraft and people are ready to resume once borders reopen has been critical.”
The original plan was to use the A380 on services to Los Angles and London, but now the airline said that both A380s will operate to just Los Angeles for the time being, with flights due to commence from April 2022. Three more A380s are expected back in Mid-November 2022 and the remaining five are expected to return to service by early 2024, this, of course, could be subject to change could the demand for air travel continue to grow as more restrictions are removed.