Australia is reopening its borders, and Qantas is ready to take advantage of the pent up demand for travel. The airline will accelerate the return of many international routes, as well as larger aircraft, to support consumer demand. It is also adding a frequent flyer twist, with several “points planes” loaded for travelers.
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.– Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce
Key to the market rebound is a removal of quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers arriving in New South Wales or Victoria. With that in place, based in large part on strong local vaccination rates, Qantas sees soaring demand for both domestic and international travel.
It should also be noted that, at least for now, travelers should expect to take a PCR test prior to departure for Australia and another test once in country.
For the first time in nearly a decade Qantas will fly to India. CEO Alan Joyce notes “flights between Sydney and Delhi have been on our radar for some time.” With the shifting demand patterns and fleet availability, the carrier will give it a go.
Flights will launch – pending government approval – from Sydney to Delhi on 6 December 2021. Service will operate 3x weekly on an A330 aircraft. The carrier hopes to grow to daily service by the end of the year.
Flights from Sydney to Delhi would operate via Darwin, while flights from Delhi to Sydney would operate nonstop thanks to favorable tailwinds. The nonstop flight will be one of the top 5 by distance operated globally by an A330 classic.
A380s coming back sooner
Qantas announced in August that five A380s with upgraded cabins would return from July 2022 to operate Los Angeles and London flights. That schedule shifted forward another three months. Two of the A380s are now expected to commence flights to Los Angeles from April 2022. One could be in service on shorter hops by the end of the year to facilitate crew training needs before the long-haul service resumes.
A further three A380s will return to service from mid-November 2022 with the remaining five expected to return to service by early 2024.
Qantas is also looking to bring forward delivery of three brand new 787-9 aircraft, currently in storage with Boeing, several months earlier than planned as demand increases.
Jetstar will bring the remaining five of its 11 Boeing 787-8s out of storage in Alice Springs over the coming months.
Points Planes for Melbourne
Billions of points have been redeemed so far this month as Australians seek to cash in their loyalty currency. More than half a billion points were redeemed on Tuesday alone. And Qantas wants to encourage that sort of behavior
For the relaunch of service from Melbourne to London (via Darwin, not Perth, as Western Australia is less open) and to Singapore the company is loading the first three flights as “Points Planes.” This means every seat on board is available as a Classic Flight Reward.
That’s a big win for those looking to get away on a relatively inexpensive reward, especially for premium cabins.
Certain Sydney routes are also operating as Points Planes
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