The additional services will see capacity increase from 5 per cent of pre-Coronavirus levels, to 15 per cent by the end of June. This equates to more than 300 more return flights per week.
Additional flights will likely operate during July depending on travel demand and further relaxation of state borders, with the ability to increase to up to 40 per cent of the Group’s pre-crisis domestic capacity by the end of July.
“We know there is a lot of pent up demand for air travel and we are already seeing a big increase in customers booking and planning flights in the weeks and months ahead,” said Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce.
“We are gradually adding flights in June as demand levels increase, which will go from 5 per cent of pre-crisis levels currently to 15 per cent by late June.
“We can quickly ramp up flying in time for the July school holidays if border restrictions have eased more by then. Normally, we plan our capacity months in advance, but in the current climate we need to be flexible to respond to changing restrictions and demand levels.
“The one million people who work in tourism around Australia have been really hurting over the past few months. These additional flights are an important first step to help get more people out into communities that rely on tourism and bring a much-needed boost to local businesses.
“Customers will notice a number of differences when they fly, such as masks and sanitising wipes, and we’ll be sending out information before their flight so they know exactly what to expect and have some extra peace of mind.
“Importantly, the Australian Government’s medical experts have said the risk of contracting Coronavirus on an aircraft is low,” Joyce said.
The Qantas Group said details of the additional flights are:
-More services on capital city routes particularly Melbourne-Sydney and a number of routes to-and-from Canberra.
-Increased intra-state flights for Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.
-Broome, Cairns and Rockhampton to see a significant boost in weekly flights.
-Flights will resume on eight routes not currently being operated.
-Qantas to commence flights from Sydney to Byron Bay (Ballina), after the route launch was postponed due to the Coronavirus.
As part of the Group’s ‘Fly Well’ program, Qantas and Jetstar will have a range of measures in place from 12 June 2020 to ensure a safe environment at airports and onboard aircraft and to give customers extra peace of mind. This includes contactless check-in, enhanced cleaning, and masks and sanitising wipes provided to all customers.
As a result of the additional flying, both airlines will be standing up more employees to operate and support these services. However, given the Group network remains significantly below pre-Coronavirus levels, the majority of Qantas Group employees will remain stood down.
All customers are encouraged to download the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe app as part of improving the ability of health authorities to contain the spread of Coronavirus. In-line with public health advice, anyone with cold and flu like symptoms should stay at home.