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Qantas: Flights cut all over the place

Qantas: Flights cut all over the place

As part of the Qantas Group’s half-year financial results (they are doing quite well, but facing economic headwinds, because COVID-19) Alan Joyce announced a fairly major cut back in flight services for Qantas International, Domestic and Jetstar.

the inside of an airplane with a television screen

Qantas International cutbacks

Woah! They are cutting capacity to Asia until at least the end of May by 16%. That’s massive. It will primarily affect China (no surprise) including Hong Kong, and Singapore.

  • Sydney-Shanghai (only remaining route to mainland China) – continues its suspension
  • Sydney-Hong Kong – halved from 14 return flights/week to 7
  • Brisbane-Hong Kong – reduced from 7 flights/week to 4
  • Melbourne-Hong Kong – reduced from 7 flights/week to 5
  • Melbourne-Singapore – replacing A380’s with Boeing 787s – that’s about 250 fewer seats per flight

On top of this, they are reducing flights between East coast Australia and New Zealand by 6%

They are going to have a lot of spare aircraft, which they are sending off for maintenance – or in the case of the A380 – probably a makeover.

a jet plane flying in the sky

Jetstar flight cutbacks

Jetstar is cutting capacity to Japan, Thailand, and various intra-Asia flights by 14%:

  • Flights to Japan: Cairns-Tokyo (Narita), Cairns-Osaka, Gold Coast-Tokyo (Narita) – down to 2 return flights/week
  • Flights to Phuket: Melbourne & Sydney-Phuket reduced by up to 2 return flights/week.
  • Jetstar in Asia: Jetstar Asia (Singapore), Jetstar Japan and Jetstar Pacific (Vietnam) – flights to mainland China suspended and reducing flights across the region. In particular, Jetstar Asia reducing seats by 15%
  • Transferring an A320 aircraft from Jetstar to QantasLink to fulfil the needs of the resources sector in Western Australia.
a plane parked at an airport

Qantas and Jetstar domestic

If you’ve been travelling recently, you will have seen what I think is more than the average number of flight cancellations, especially on the east coast of Australia. Now there has been some bad weather, but despite Qantas denials, I can’t help think that some of these are for capacity reasons.

Qantas/Jetstar has announced a capacity reduction of 2.3% on domestic operations, and most of this will be between capital cities at less popular times, as they say, regional services are largely remaining stable.

Qantas is also proceeding with some new routes including:

  • Sydney-Ballina (Byron Bay),
  • Sydney-Mildura,
  • Tamworth-Brisbane and
  • Sydney-Orange
  • Adelaide to Kangaroo Island (additional flights)
  • Sydney to Bendigo (additional flights)
  • Melbourne-Busselton (Margaret River) on Jetstar.

“The capacity we’re taking out is the equivalent of grounding 18 aircraft across Qantas and Jetstar until the end of May, which in turn impacts about 700 full time roles. To avoid job losses we’ll be using leave balances across our workforce of 30,000 and freezing recruitment to help ride this out. We’ll also take advantage of having some aircraft on the ground by bringing forward planned maintenance,”

Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO
a black board with white text and numbers

2PAXfly Takeout

Capacity is reduced, but fares are still up in my opinion. The double status credits promotion should help, in this traditionally slow time of year, but I think Qantas will need to dig deeper with some actual price reductions.

It will be a difficult balance to find, but hats off to Alan Joyce, if anyone can negotiate this difficult time, its mathematics and physics trained Alan!

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