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QANTAS: More planes, more routes, more crew and more frequent

QANTAS: More planes, more routes, more crew and more frequent

With international demand at 84%, Qantas is upping its game to service this growing need for seats. It’s going to provide more flights to destinations like Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo. It’s launching two new international routes from Brisbane – Wellington in New Zealand and Honiara in the Solomon Islands, and it will return to servicing San Francisco and New York via Auckland.


Qantas is going to increase its international capacity to roughly 100% of pre-COVID levels. For some perspective, 12 months ago it was at 44 %, currently, it’s at 84%, and by March 2024, it will be 100%.

That increase in capacity will require 300 more pilots and cabin crew, and a bunch more planes.

Tarmac View from Sydney First Class Qantas Lounge [Schuetz/2PAXfly]


In the next 6 months, Qantas will be returning 5 aircraft into its international fleet, some from storage, and others previously allocated on standby while maintenance was returning to capacity. Its also going to lease some – but more about that later.

A new B787 Dreamliner is arriving this month (May 2023), with another two are arriving in June. An A380 came out of storage in January, and another one will return to service at the end of 2023 following maintenance and cabin upgrades.


Qantas is returning some of its old routes, like San Francisco, and some seasonal services to Rome and Hong Kong from June. You can see a full list of new routes, revived routes, and increased frequencies at the end of this post.

Finnair new business class seat on A350
The new Business Class seat currently on A350s but being rolled out to A330s [Finnair]

Leasing planes and crew from Finnair

Well, this is almost a first. Qantas will be wet (with crew) and dry (without crew) leasing A330 aircraft from Finnair. The wet-leased aircraft will service selected flights for 2 and a half years between Sydney and Singapore from late October and all services to Bangkok from late March 2024. Expect to enjoy Qantas inflight food and beverages, amenities, baggage allowance, and inflight entertainment, but delivered by Finnair cabin staff and flown by Finnair pilots.

After that initial two-and-a-half years, from late 2025, Qantas will dry lease two of Finnair’s A330s for up to three years but crewed with Qantas pilots and cabin crew.

New Routes and New Frequencies

Melbourne – Los AngelesFrom daily to 9 per week, imore A380 flying = increased capacity by 60%
Sydney – New York via AucklandFrom 3 to 4/week.
Australia to Tokyo      From 14 to 28/week
4 daily flights to Japan from 26 November.
Sydney –Tokyo From daily to double daily.
Melbourne – Tokyo From 4/week to daily
Brisbane – Tokyo From 3/week to daily
Services from Melbourne and Brisbane will move to Narita Airport.
Sydney – ShanghaiDaily on A330
Sydney – Hong KongSummer season, capacity increase – daily flights on A380 or A330
Melbourne – Hong KongFrom 4/week to daily
Melbourne – Singapore From 10 to 14/week from 31 March 2024
Sydney – Singapore From 14 to 15/week from 31 March 2024
Melbourne – DelhiFrom 3 to 6/week over summer
Brisbane – WellingtonNew: daily on E190 aircraft
Brisbane – Honiara, Solomon IslandsNew: 3 days/week with E190 aircraft
Sydney – ChristchurchFrom 11 to 14/week.
Sydney – QueenstownFrom daily to 9 per week, more A380 flying = increased capacity by 60%
Figures supplied by Qantas

“While airlines globally are working to restore capacity to meet demand, there is still a mismatch between supply and demand for international flying. But with more of our aircraft back in the air, new 787s joining our fleet and our contract with Finnair, we’ve got more seats for our customers and more opportunity for Qantas crew as we increase our own flying.

We know our customers are looking for great value and this additional capacity will also put downward pressure on fares.”

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce
Qantas long haul breakfast in business [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

This is beyond exciting! Who doesn’t like greater capacity, more frequency, new routes, and wet-leased planes from a Nordic airline?

If the rules of supply and demand apply, this should also foreshadow lower airfares, although I don’t think they will ever return to pre-COVID levels


  1. Julian

    Nice article! Just FYI Finland is not part of Scandinavia.

    • 2paxfly

      Julian, you are of course correct. Thanks. I have changed it to ‘Nordic’ which I hope you will agree is the better term.


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