LONDON – Qantas will be suspending their services to Jakarta from Perth and will, in turn, fly to Johannesburg, albeit until March 2023, as it will be “suspended until further notice.”
Qantas, who was supposed to fly to Jakarta on November 30, has decided to swap to fly to Johannesburg with a time-limit which is until March 2023.
To make matters more confusing, flights arriving from Johannesburg (QF66) will be going to either Terminal 1 or Terminal 3, while the departing flight to Johannesburg (QF65) will always be departing from Terminal 3.
The airline will be having two time periods regarding the terminal use of QF66, namely the arriving flight from Johannesburg. Flights between 1 November and 15 January will be going to Terminal 3.
“Passengers with a connecting Qantas flight will clear customs and immigration in T3 so they can easily connect to their onward service. Passengers finishing their journey in Perth will be bussed from T3 to Terminal 1 (T1) to clear customs in T1.”
Between January 16 and March 25, 2023, QF66 will be arriving at T1, “where all passengers will go through customs and immigration. Passengers with onward Qantas flights will be bussed across to T3.”
March 25 is the day that Qantas will (for now) suspend this route, “as a result of these constraints and the operational workarounds required, the Johannesburg service will be suspended from 25 March 2023 until further notice. “
One of the main reasons delivered by Qantas as to why the flight will be “suspended until further notice” comes down to the constraints in T3 regarding the security and biosecurity screening requirements for the flights at T3.
“Infrastructure constraints at Terminal 3 make it difficult to deliver the levels of border security and biosecurity screening required to process passengers from some destinations, including South Africa.”
The CEO of Qantas International, Andrew David, said the T1/T3 split came about “after detailed discussion with the border agencies… this is about balancing the needs of our customers and operations with the important job our border agencies do in screening passengers and managing risk at the border.”
The upside, David said, was “that all our Johannesburg flights will leave from T3, which means passengers flying in from other parts of Australia to meet this service will have a seamless experience, and eligible passengers can access our lounge.”
“We appreciate the support of Perth Airport as well as government agencies in developing and now implementing these alternatives so we can meet the strong travel demand to South Africa over the peak holiday period.”
“We’re working with the airport and government on how we can grow our international services from Perth given these developments,” Mr. David added.
A Perth Airport spokesman said: “Perth Airport had agreed to host the Jakarta and Johannesburg services out of Terminal 3, subject to Qantas securing the appropriate Federal regulatory approvals.
“Perth Airport has done everything possible to help ensure the flights could go ahead as planned, and while we are naturally disappointed the services will not proceed, we understand the position of the relevant government agencies.”
Qantas has also provided a statement as to why they have decided to scrap the flights to Jakarta. The main reason is that owing to “the same constraints,” Qantas has decided to outright scrub this route.
This means that the suspension did not come from the fact that Qantas didn’t get the necessary approvals, however.
When the CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, announced the route of Perth-Jakarta, it was “the first time that Qantas has operated the route which will support the growing trade and tourism links between Australia and Indonesia” and was “expected to be popular with travelers connecting to other major Indonesian cities such as Surabaya and Medan.”