QANTAS: New Routes, staff back at work, schedule brought forward
Qantas has been quick off the mark already with international border openings with little notice. Today they have announced some further revelations, like:
- All remaining Australian-based Qantas & Jetstar employees are able to get back to work from 21 December – that’s around 5,000 in domestic and 6,000 for international – back to work 6 months earlier than expected
- Ahead of previous schedule, flights from Sydnety to Bangkok, Fiji, Johannesburg, Phuket and Singapore recommence
- Sydney to Delhi flight to resume after 10 year pause – from 6 December 2021 (3 flights per week initially building to daily) to March 2022 and further if demand is mainainted, and subject to regulatory approval. Flights will be A330’s non-stop
- 2 x A380’s return to service ahead of schdule
- New 787 Dreamliners to be delivered earlier – maybe
- Points Planes flights for Frequent Flyers
Content of this Post:
The reason for all of this is the reopening of borders by NSW and the Federal Government on 1 November, and the removal of 14 day or home quarantine requirements for all double vaccinated travellers, and a huge increase in travel demand
Changes to international Schedules
Some features of the new schedule are:
- Sydney to Singapore: Qantas direct from 23 November 2021, (4 weeks early), 3 days/week, A330 aircraft. Move to daily from 18 December 2021. Jetstar from Melbourne and Darwin to Singapore from 16 December 2021
- Sydney to Fiji (Nadi): Qantas from 7 December 2021 (2 weeks early). 4 flights/week on B737. Jetstar resumes on 17 December 2021
- Sydney to Johannesburg: Qantas resumes 5 January 2022, (3 months early). 3 flights/week on B787 jets
- Sydney to Bangkok: Qantas resumes 14 January 2022, (2 months early). 5 flights/week on A330s
- Sydney to Phuket: Jetstar resumes 12 January 2022, (2 months early). 3 flights/week on B787 Dreamliners
These flights are being planned where every seat in every cabin can be booked as a reward redemption.
Not confirmed yet, but discussions about fully vaccinated Australians being able to visit Bali with reduced or no quarantine requirement. If that comes off Jetstar and Qantas will resume flights a month earlier than planned
“We’ve said for months that the key factor in ramping up international flying would be the quarantine requirement. The decision by the NSW Government to join many cities from around the world by removing quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers means we’re able to add these flights from Sydney much earlier than we would have otherwise.Alan Joyce CEO
Qantas is reporting strong demand on its flights from Sydney to London and Los Angeles, requiring 10 more London flights than originally planned for before Christmas. That will make returning Australians happy.
Points redemptions have also been popular. In fact, premium cabins seemed to be unavailable for points bookings about a minute after they were released! That’s confirmed by Qantas who recorded more than half a billion points redeemed
Mid-December 2021 sees flights to Honolulu, New Zealand, Tokyo and Vancouver commence/resume.
Before you book, just remember that these initial flights are only for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and parents.
A380’s back earlier
Stored in the Californian desert, originally until the end of 2023, the planes with upgraded cabins will be back from July 2022 to fly the LA and London routes. One plane will be back around Christmas to assist in crew training.
Another 3 of the A380s will be back from mid-November 2022 with the other 5 back in service by early 2024.
Qantas and Jetstar will ramp up Melbourne and Sydney capacity to 18 return flights per day once quarantine-free travel resumes. They expect to increase that to 37 return flights/day by Christmas – compared to 58 return services per day, pre-pandemic.
Capacity will increase on other routes out of Sydney and Melbourne as border restrictions are lifted by other states and territories.
Remember that you have to be double vaxxed for any of these flights, and be able to prove it. For international flights, check the details on the Qantas site, as some countries still require quarantine. An example is Fiji where on arrival you need to stay within your resort for 48 hours and return a negative test, before heading out beyond your accommodation.
Qantas hasn’t rolled out its full Lounge re-opening timetable, but you should be OK for lounge access within Australia, its international arrangements that are yet to be announced. The ‘Fee Free’ change still applies on any fares booked prior to the end of February 2022, although there may be a fare difference you will need to pay.
Mask on, Vaccination proof on your phone – time to book!