Qantas and Jetstar will bring forward the restart of more international flights to popular destinations from Sydney and begin the first commercial flights for Qantas between Sydney and Delhi in almost a decade from 6 December.
Qantas plans to launch the new Sydney to Delhi route on 6 December 2021 with three return flights per week on its A330 aircraft, building to daily flights by end of the year.
The national carrier said flights from Sydney to Delhi would operate via Darwin, while flights from Delhi to Sydney would operate nonstop and initially operate until at least late March 2022, with a view to continuing if there is sufficient demand.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said “While these flights will initially be for Australians and their families, we expect tourists from Singapore, South Africa and India to take advantage of these flights once borders reopen to international visitors, which is great news for the industry.
“Given the strong ties between Australia and India, flights between Sydney and Delhi have been on our radar for some time, and we think there will be strong demand from family and friends wanting to reconnect once borders open.
The updated Qantas international schedule published today also includes:
- Sydney to Singapore: Qantas flights will resume on 23 November 2021, four weeks earlier than scheduled, operating three days per week with A330 aircraft. Services will ramp up to daily from 18 December 2021. Jetstar will fly from Melbourne and Darwin to Singapore from 16 December 2021.
- Sydney to Fiji (Nadi): Qantas flights will be brought forward to 7 December 2021 from 19 December 2021. Four return flights a week will be operated by 737 aircraft. Jetstar flights to Fiji will resume on 17 December 2021. Within 48 hours of Fiji announcing its reopening, Jetstar saw a 200 per cent increase in sales versus pre-COVID levels, selling more fares than a typical seven day period.
- Sydney to Johannesburg: Qantas flights will resume on 5 January 2022, three months earlier than scheduled. Three return flights a week will be operated by 787 aircraft.
- Sydney to Bangkok: Qantas flights will resume on 14 January 2022, more than two months earlier than scheduled. Five return flights a week will be operated by A330 aircraft.
- Sydney to Phuket: Jetstar flights will resume on 12 January 2022, more than two months earlier than scheduled. Three return flights a week will be operated by 787 aircraft.
Today’s lengthy announcement is in addition to routes already on sale from Sydney to London and Los Angeles. Bookings on these routes have been extremely strong, with more than 10 additional return services added between Sydney and London due to demand from Australians coming home in time for Christmas.
The faster ramp-up follows the Federal and New South Wales governments confirming that international borders would reopen from 1 November 2021 and the decision by the NSW Government to remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated arrivals – which significantly increases travel demand.
Qantas frequent flyers have also been booking seats in record numbers, with the largest number of points used on reward seats for a single day in the airline’s history occurring on Tuesday this week, with more than half a billion points redeemed.
Flights to Honolulu, Vancouver, Tokyo and New Zealand are still scheduled to commence from mid-December 2021, with other destinations to restart in the new year.
The A380 is coming back sooner!
Originally expected to remain in long term storage in the Californian Mojave desert until the end of 2023, the Group announced in August that five A380s with upgraded cabins would return from July 2022 to operate Los Angeles and London flights.
This is now being brought forward a further three months, with two of the A380s to commence flights to Los Angeles from April 2022. One aircraft could arrive by the end of this year to assist with crew training ahead of its return to service.
A further three A380s will return to service from mid-November 2022 with the remaining five expected to return to service by early 2024.
“Our customers and crew love flying on our flagship A380s, so news that they are will be back flying to Los Angeles again from April next year will be very welcome. The Federal Government’s support to ensure our aircraft and people are ready to resume once borders reopen has been critical,” said Joyce.
Qantas is also looking to bring forward delivery of three brand new 787-9 aircraft, currently in storage with Boeing, several months earlier than planned as demand increases.
Jetstar will also bring the remaining five of its 11 Boeing 787-8s out of storage in Alice Springs over the coming months.
Qantas and Jetstar are preparing to ramp up capacity between Melbourne and Sydney as quarantine-free travel is set to resume between Australia’s two largest cities.
Pre-pandemic, Melbourne-Sydney was the second busiest route in the world, with the Group operating up to 58 return services per day, but during the latest lockdowns, this got down to as low as one return flight per day for essential travel only.
When the Victorian and NSW borders open, Qantas and Jetstar will operate up to 18 return flights per day, increasing to up to 37 return flights per day by Christmas.
The additional capacity will be added on other routes to and from Sydney and Melbourne, as restrictions are lifted by other states and territories.
“We know that Australians are keen to get overseas and see friends and family or have a long-awaited holiday, so bringing forward the restart of flights to these popular international destinations will give customers even more options to travel this summer.
“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.
The airline says these decisions – combined with plans by states and territories to reopen domestic borders – support all Qantas and Jetstar workers based in Australia and New Zealand who are currently stood down to return to work by early December 2021.
This includes around 5,000 employees linked to domestic flying and around 6,000 linked to international flying.
Due to extended border closures, many international crew have been stood down since the start of the pandemic. Combined with operational and corporate employees already working, the Group’s 22,000 employees are able to return to work in December, which the airline says wasn’t expected to happen until June 2022.
Important info for international travellers
- All passengers on Qantas and Jetstar international flights (aged 12 years and older) will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine (unless they have an exemption).
- As part of Federal Government requirements, customers on these flights will also be required to return a negative COVID test from an approved PCR testing site within 72 hours of departure.
- The NSW Government will shortly advise details on additional testing requirements for arrivals.
- Customers are advised to check government requirements for the destination they are travelling to.
- Fiji will initially require travellers to stay within their resort for 48 hours upon arrival and return a negative test, before being able to venture out beyond their accommodation.
- Customers who book international flights before 28 February 2022 can make ‘fee free’ date changes when travelling before 31 December 2022. (A fare difference may apply).
- Eligible Qantas customers and frequent flyers will have access to lounges in Australia and overseas with more details to be provided shortly.
*Flights remain subject to government and regulatory approval.
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