Qantas has confirmed an order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s to enable non-stop flights to Australia from any other city including New York and London from late 2025.
These direct flights that will cut up to four hours off total travel time compared with one-stop options today.
Qantas and Jetstar have adjusted flying levels to better match travel demand in light of the growth in Covid-19 cases in Australia.
The Qantas Group now expects domestic capacity for the third quarter of FY22 to be at around 70% of pre-Covid levels, down from the 102% that had been planned.
The aviation sector’s road to recovery is not likely to be dialled back as nations and states begin to make it clear they are prepared to live with Covid-19 and reconnect, says Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas.
Speaking at Flight Centre Corporate’s virtual event, Illuminate, yesterday Joyce outlined immediate and post Christmas plans for the airline.
‘We are in a different space than we were six months ago. Our largest (most populated) states are opening up, while still having protections.’
A soft adventure operator in Surfers Paradise says bookings starting to come in from New Zealand will be a real fillip for the Queensland tourism mecca.
Kate Forrester, who co-owns Gold Coast Watersports with husband Kyle Porter, says that though things started slowly, once the bubble opened, 10 bookings come through from New Zealandin one night for the family run business.
Forrester says that while many Kiwis who visit the area are catching up with friends and family they look for activities while they are there. The majority of bookings from New Zealand this week were for para sailing but jet skiing up
from the company’s site past Marina Mirage is also on many to do lists.
By Stu Freeman
Yesterday I was on Flight QF166 to the Gold Coast – Qantas’ inaugural between Auckland and Coolangatta and an early opportunity for me to experience travel in the trans Tasman bubble.
Auckland Airport yesterday (apart from a couple of slightly busier bursts during the day) was quiet to the point of being eerie – a boon for clients travelling just outside peak who want to get through the airport quickly with no hassle.
Qantas and Jetstar are set to operate up to 122 return flights per week across the Tasman
The carriers will restart flying to all pre-Covid destinations in New Zealand when the two-way trans-Tasman bubble opens later this month.
Despite QF’s ultra-long haul flights, dubbed Project Sunrise, currently being shelved, Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce predicts that when borders open it will be the type of service to resonate even more with passengers.
‘There is likely to be a stronger business case for flights like Sydney / Melbourne to London or New York, without the necessity to stop anywhere on the way.’
Qantas has released a three-year strategy to guide recovery and return to growth in the changed market.
The airline says around 100 aircraft will be grounded for up to 12 months, some for longer. There will also be job losses and extended stand downs to manage a long period of reduced flying, especially internationally.
Agents are being encouraged to still look at opportunities to continue earning points towards Sell Your Way to the USA, despite the incentive being put on hold through to mid-April at this stage.