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May 28, 2024
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Qantas plans to rebuild its international network to seventy percent capacity of 2019 levels by the first quarter of its financial year 2023, which starts on October 1. The carrier maintains its previous guidance of fifty percent capacity in the June-September quarter, although it is busy building back capacity on most of its international routes. Qantas rebuilds international capacity to seventy percent.

The Australian airline will bring back a third Airbus A380 (VH-OQB) into service from June 6. The double-decker will operate on the Sydney to Los Angeles route as QF11/12 and QF17/18 but also return on QF1/2 Sydney-London Heathrow, replacing the Boeing 787-9. From June 19, the London rotation will route via Singapore again instead of Darwin, which was the stop-over when lockdowns and restrictions in Singapore were tight.

Qantas has also resumed services between Perth and London Heathrow since May 23, pre-Covid the longest non-stop flight on the network before the service was suspended and later resumed via Darwin. From June 22, Perth will see the start of a seasonal service to Rome.

The relaxation of restrictions in New Zealand has resulted in a surge of flights, with Qantas and Jetstar now back in Wellington, Queenstown, Christchurch, and Auckland. The re-opening of Japan means that Jetstar will return to Tokyo Narita from Cairns on July 20 and to Osaka a week later on July 26, but Qantas is testing the waters and has Japan back on the schedule only from September and October.

Indonesia and The Philippines are seeing gradually increased frequencies in June and again in September, while Santiago de Chile follows in October and Seoul (South Korea) in November. The relaunch of Sydney-San Francisco has been pushed back by three months until October 30, with Melbourne-Dallas Forth Worth served again from December 2.

The relaxation of restrictions resulted in strong domestic demand in the past couple of months, with capacity reaching 107 percent of pre-Covid levels. But higher fuel prices and inflation have made Qantas and Jetstar review their capacity plans for the coming months. For July and August, capacity will be brought back to 103 percent. Qantas stresses that enough flights remain available and that affected customers will be offered alternative flights.

Qantas will start a trial with new self-service kiosks at Terminal 3 at Sydney Airport in June. The new kiosk print bag tags and offer options to purchase additional bags. They are much quicker than the previous model. The carrier plans to have rolled out 140 new kiosks by September at most domestic airports.  

author avatar
Richard Schuurman
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. Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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