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QANTAS: Capacity update – more flights and bigger jets

QANTAS: Capacity update – more flights and bigger jets

I got a surprise this week, with a booked Perth to Sydney flight in the next few months upgraded from a Boeing 737-800 to an Airbus A330-300. Damn it that I didn’t wait for today’s Double Status Credits or Points Rewards promotion! Mind you, I probably wouldn’t get the fare at such a good price.I was casually checking my booking to sort out a few itinerary things and hey Presto!, my seat allocation had changed. On checking details, I realised there had been a plane swap, and better than that, an aircraft upgrade.

Why an upgrade? Because the Qantas A330-300 has international Business Class Seats – which turn into beds – instead of the usual domestic recliners on the B737-800. You can see it immediately on the seat maps:

screens screenshot of a flight ticket
Qantas App seating plans: B737 on left, A330 on right

The Boeing 737 only has 3 rows of Business in a 2-2 arrangement for a total of 12 seats, whereas the A330 has 7 rows of Business in a 1-2-1 configuration for a total of 28 seats. And yes, 2K is one of those true window seats (sea below), with a the foot cubby hole of the seat behind next to the aisle giving you greater privacy and a ledge to store things on. I might even try and swap to 1K when they get released to other than Chairman’s Lounge and Platinum One’s about 80 hours before the flight.

a diagram of a bus

But I digress… Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne flights boosted

Qantas is going to increase flights between these east coast state capitals, with 57 additional return services each week. It’s still only 93% of pre-COVID service capacity, but an 11 percentage points increase.

As demonstrated above, its also increasing capacity on east-west routes between Perth and the east coast of Australia, by swapping out 737s (174 seats) for the widebodied A330s (297 seats).

Jetstar too

The low service and patron abusive airline is going to bump up both international and domestic capacity by 15% over the next six months. It has four of the brand new A321neo long range aircraft scheduled for delivery, making a total of nine in the air.

Over Easter it is adding an additional flight on its Melbourne to Margaret River (Busselton) route, making a total of four per week.

a plate of food and a glass of water
Qantas pre-pandemic meal on Perth/Sydney route


The Qantas Group including Jetstar are expanding international services from 26 March:

  • Qantas Melbourne-Tokyo (Haneda) route restarts
  • Qantas Melbourne-Singapore goes from daily to max 10/week
  • Qantas Brisbane-Singapore moves from 6/week to daily
  • Qantas Sydney-Hong Kong service goes from an A330 to an A380 on selected flights until June
  • Qantas Melbourne-Hong Kong service resumes in June
  • Jetstar to launch new Brisbane-Auckland service – date not specified
  • Qantas to start Melbourne-Jakarta route from 16 April 2023

With all this, Qantas expects to reach more than 100% of pre-pandemic capacity.

the inside of an airplane
Qantas A330 Business class

2PAXfly Takeout

This is all good news. With pent up demand, don’t expect for pricing to relax too much, although I think we can see some moderate reductions on those ridiculous airfares of the last few months. For example, by choosing my flights carefully, I was able to reduce the cost of my upcoming trip to Perth from over AU$5,000 (I might as well go to Thailand!) return in business to just over AU $3,500, and with an already existing flight credit for more than half that, it felt much less painful.

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