Qantas (ASX:QAN) readies for domestic flight ramp-up

Andrew Cummings
June 6, 2020

Qantas announced on Thursday that more than 300 return flights would be back in operation by the end of June, an increase of 10 per cent of pre-coronavirus levels, reports Xinhua news agency.

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In addition to extra flights, a number of states have floated the idea of a travel bubble that could become a reality in just a month in time for school holidays.

Yes, that's obviously still significantly less than normal; however if the demand is there and the remaining state border restrictions are removed - such as in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia - flight numbers could return to 40 percent of pre-coronavirus levels by the end of July.

"We can quickly ramp up flying in time for the July school holidays if border restrictions have eased more by then", he said. "Normally, we plan our capacity months in advance, but in the current climate we need to be flexible to respond to changing restrictions and demand levels".

It is understood the increase on services will focus on capital city routes particularly between Melbourne and Sydney, and a number of routes to-and-from Canberra.

There will also be changes to the way passengers check in for their flights, with the airline encouraging everyone to use contactless check-in (via online/app) and a self-serve bag drop prior to boarding.

"The one million people who work in tourism around Australia have been really hurting over the past few months", Joyce's statement said.

Regional areas including Broome, Cairns and Rockhampton will see a significant boost in weekly flights as part of the new schedules.

It comes after Qantas rolled out a range of new COVID-19 measures, but refused to give up the middle seat to enforce social distancing. The changes include optional masks on board for passengers, hand sanitising stations installed at departure gates and enhanced aircraft cleaning between flights.

Travellers should be aware that all bookings made by June 30 for travel between June 12 and October 31 will allow people to change the date of their flights once without paying a change fee.

However, there's still no more news on those possible $19 airfares Joyce has flogged.

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