With Australia more opening up, Qantas and Jetstar are adding more routes to their networks, both domestically and internationally. Qantas builds back its network as borders reopen.
Qantas and Qantaslink have added five domestic routes to the network since Sunday, March 27, when it resumed the first Sydney-Uluru rotation for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Qantas offers four flights a week to the famous Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with its red rock formations. Jetstar continued to serve Uluru during the pandemic from Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, so the Qantas flights are additional and bring the flight schedule to eighteen weekly return flights.
From today, the carrier restarted services between Adelaide-Newcastle, Brisbane-Wagga Wagga, Darwin-Townsville, and Darwin-Cairns. The first two routes are only served by Qantas, the carrier says. By adding the new routes, Qantas says it responds to the pent-up demand of Australians who like to travel within their country as well as invest in regional, economic hubs.
Since March 2, Qantas and Jetstar resumed services to Western Australia, which kept its borders closed much longer than other states. The airline had hoped for the reopening in February but had to cancel thousands of flights as the WA government upheld its strict Covid-policy. The two carriers now offer some sixty weekly flights to Western Australia but will expand this in April. Flights were added from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Gold Coast, Canberra, Hobart, and Darwin.
From April 13, Qantas and Jetstar are ramping up trans-Tasman flights to thirty on five routes. This follows the announcement by New Zealand that Tasman is open for quarantine-free travel to Australians. On the Qantas schedule are services to Auckland from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane and between Sydney and Christchurch. Jetstar will operate between the Gold Coast and Auckland. The two airlines will operate with Airbus A320s, Boeing 737-800s, and Airbus A330s. In May and June, flights to Wellington and Queenstown will be resumed.
Doubling services to Los Angeles
Further abroad, Qantas builds back its network to the US is to see additional frequencies and flights. To meet strong demand, Qantas has doubled its services by offering four extra return flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles from this week. Until December, these services will be operated only by Boeing 787-9s, but from December 2, Qantas will add the Airbus A380 to this route. The A380 currently only operates between Sydney and LA on selected days.
Also from December 2, Qantas will start services between Melbourne and Dallas Forth Worth on what will be the longest route of the airline at 14.480 kilometers. The four weekly return flights will be done by the 787-9. Dallas has been served by Qantas for many years from Sydney, with the A380 going there pre-pandemic. The US airport is of great importance, as it is the hub of Qantas’ partner American Airlines and, as such, offers Australian travelers many onward connections. Qantas reported a $622 million net loss in the first six months of FY22.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.