QF's COVID-19 minimal network schedule

Melburnian1

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Borders shutting fast with little notice (and in WA's case retrospectively applied laws) is one thing. The other is staying shut even after weeks of zero cases.

Totally agree, but with the reopening of the Victorian border to BrisVegas from Sunday 17 January (announced by the Victorian dictator a short while ago), QFd looks to have (at least?) six flights running from BNE to MEL tomorrow. All had seats a few minutes ago so most may have been just placed on the booking system. The cheapest fare in whY one way is an expensive $431. J was an outrageous $1164 one way: sometimes one can fly to southeast Asia (return) for $2200 in J (or less) with far nicer seats and meals than on a B738.

There was only one JQd nonstop BNE - MEL available for booking but a number of curious other routes offered such as via CBR. The cheapest one way fare was $392 via SYD but if one so desired, a $540 one way via CNS of all places was available.

The Victorian government has yet to say when its state will reopen to Greater Sydney (plus Blue Mountains et al) temporary or permanent residents.
 
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ChrisW.

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I cannot see any QF flights past Tuesday, 26th, between SYD and OOL, there is only 1 Jetstar flight left each day (when trying to book a flight on the QF website). The QF flights in my booking are still ok for the days after that, any idea when Qantas will actually cancel those flights? Looks like you cannot book them anymore but they have not been cancelled in the system yet. I guess the QLD border rules for Sydney will not change next week.
 

Melburnian1

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I cannot see any QF flights past Tuesday, 26th, between SYD and OOL, there is only 1 Jetstar flight left each day (when trying to book a flight on the QF website). The QF flights in my booking are still ok for the days after that, any idea when Qantas will actually cancel those flights? Looks like you cannot book them anymore but they have not been cancelled in the system yet. I guess the QLD border rules for Sydney will not change next week.

Because the QFd flights in number don't seem to be appearing on airport websites, I assume that they are cancelled about a week (or less) before the scheduled day of operation.

A difficulty for airlines is that if they cancel a flight 'too early', disgraceful State Premiers like Palusczuk may as you imply suddenly decide to lift a border closure, and then QFd loses bookings, revenue (and profit?).

It must be difficult running any business in the 'stop, go' environment that is detemined by politicians. Infuriating for you as well as a passenger or prospective one.
 

Melburnian1

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As at 2300 hours on Thursday night, QFd was to operate just 29 domestic flights from SYD on Friday 22 January 2021. Quite a few are just turboprops to NSW rural cities and towns.

Pre-COVID-19, on a similar Friday during the Christmas/New Year school holidays, QFd might have had around 35 flights from Sydney to Melbourne alone, and c.25 to Brisbane.
 

Melburnian1

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On Thursday 28 January 2021, QFd has just four 'own metal' scheduled deparrtures from MEL up to SYD, at 0700, 1000, 1300 and 1930 hours. At a guess on an equivalent day two years ago, QFd may have had between 32 and 37 timetabled 'own metal' departures on this normally busiest of Oz domestic routes.
 

Melburnian1

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Saturday 30 January 2021 has QFd 'own metal' cancelling nine of 14 scheduled SYD to MEL southbound flights.

This is despite the border again being open (although a stupid 'travel permit' is required by the Victorian Government to enter.

13 of QFd's flights ex SYD today are turboprops.
 
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flydoc

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Despite travel to Tasmania being currently unrestricted, the early morning QF LST-MEL service has got the chop during February, making same day return travel to the mainland all but impossible. Just a mid-morning and mid-afternoon service daily (plus assorted JQ flights). The 0630 QF DPO-MEL has been retained.
 

Virgin Bart

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although a stupid 'travel permit' is required by the Victorian Government to enter.
As a Victorian who suffered through the second wave I don't think it's stupid. One of the hardest things was for our contact tracers to actually find contact details for and contact people. This fixes that issue largely.

It's important to remember contact tracing is essentially a retrospective tool, so this system makes it a lot easier.

But we digress.
 

Melburnian1

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As a Victorian who suffered through the second wave I don't think it's stupid. One of the hardest things was for our contact tracers to actually find contact details for and contact people. This fixes that issue largely.

It's important to remember contact tracing is essentially a retrospective tool, so this system makes it a lot easier.

But we digress.

NSW has managed to do this without such permits. But their Premier, who has managed to keep NSW freer economically and socially, is eons ahead of the Victorian counterpart who with has imposed so much avoidable suffering on Victorians (including 800 plus who died). But as you said, we digress.

QFd's financial troubles and relative lack of flights are partly due to those State Premiers who've continually shut borders or imposed other restrictions.
 
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Virgin Bart

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NSW has managed to do this without such permits. But their Premier, who has managed to keep NSW freer economically and socially, is eons ahead of the Victorian counterpart who with has imposed so much avoidable suffering on Victorians (including 800 plus who died). But as you said, we digress.

QFd's financial troubles and relative lack of flights are partly due to those State Premiers who've continually shut borders or imposed other restrictions.
I respectfully, but almost entirely, disagree.

Back to topic. Agreed, QFd is really struggling with these closures. I think we need a uniform national approach to borders. But I understand I'm dreaming due to the constitution.
 
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Melburnian1

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Despite travel to Tasmania being currently unrestricted, the early morning QF LST-MEL service has got the chop during February, making same day return travel to the mainland all but impossible. Just a mid-morning and mid-afternoon service daily (plus assorted JQ flights). The 0630 QF DPO-MEL has been retained.

You could depart the previous night from DPO on the 'Spirit of Tasmania' ferry and perhaps fly back the next day if you were visiting Melbourne. But I hear your pain. One would think QFd would retain the flights facilitating same day return travel as a priority, but perhaps that it has not tells us that most of the smaller numbers flying are not doing so for business.
 

NSun

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I booked a SYD-BNE trip late next week (I have family up there and can only have confidence the border will stay open for a couple of weeks based on the last 2 times) and when I booked there were 5 flights all day (Thursday the 4th).

Out of curiosity I just checked again and there had only been one more flight added on that day thus far. I know it isn't peak travel season but perhaps Sydneysiders' confidence to visit Queensland really has been shaken.
 

Melburnian1

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On Friday 12 February 2021, QFd has 19 northbound MEL - SYD own metal flights scheduled which while no longer 'minimal' is about 45 to 55 per cent what it would have had two years ago on a similar February Friday.

If one wants 'minimal', MEL to ADL westbound is down to just four QFd own metal flights tomorrow - two in the morning peak and two in the afternoon peak, with no QFd flights departing between 0810 hours and 1735 hours. Melburnians are required to isolate for 14 days upon arrival in South Australia. My guess is many won't bother to travel.

Worse in MEL to PER where at a quick glance I could not see any of the three major airlines with a passenger flight tomorrow.

MEL to BNE is down to just seven northbounds. I didn't keep the pre-COVID-19 schedules but at a guess given it used to be Oz's third busiest domestic air route, there would have been 15 to 20 QFd own metal flights on a comparable Friday two years ago.
 

Rangalad

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On Friday 12 February 2021, QFd has 19 northbound MEL - SYD own metal flights scheduled which while no longer 'minimal' is about 45 to 55 per cent what it would have had two years ago on a similar February Friday.

If one wants 'minimal', MEL to ADL westbound is down to just four QFd own metal flights tomorrow - two in the morning peak and two in the afternoon peak, with no QFd flights departing between 0810 hours and 1735 hours. Melburnians are required to isolate for 14 days upon arrival in South Australia. My guess is many won't bother to travel.

Worse in MEL to PER where at a quick glance I could not see any of the three major airlines with a passenger flight tomorrow.

MEL to BNE is down to just seven northbounds. I didn't keep the pre-COVID-19 schedules but at a guess given it used to be Oz's third busiest domestic air route, there would have been 15 to 20 QFd own metal flights on a comparable Friday two years ago.
Hazard a guess, QF reacting to the (now confirmed) lockdown.
 

Melburnian1

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Hazard a guess, QF reacting to the (now confirmed) lockdown.

When I wrote that, QFd had reacted to the SA border closure adversely affecting Melburnians.

It didn't know of the snap five day lockdown announced on Friday 12 February by Victorian Premier Andrews. Another disaster for Victorians and airlines!
 

Melburnian1

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One day this week, a friend travelled on QF734 that had many empty seats (0955 hours ADL - SYD).

Tonight 'The Oz' has some entrepreneur who says he's made at least 8000 flights suggesting (with a photo included as proof) that 'a (Tuesday 16 February) 0800 hours' (possibly QF511, the 0750 hours BNE to SYD) flight had just six passengers while a SYD - MEL flight during the previous week on which he travelled had 11.

The BNE - SYD aircraft was required for maintenance in SYD, as staff on board informed the chap it wouldn't have operated but for that. As QF511, B738 VH-VYG only operated that one BNE - SYD flight on Tuesday, arriving SYD at 1007 hours, and wasn't used again until QF443, the 1200 'high noon' SYD - MEL yesterday, again only operating this one flight all day. Today, it's also only run one flight.

He makes the valid point that Palaszczuk and Andrews' border closures have destroyed confidence in (interstate) air travel and claims that patronage has decreased from when borders were open and flights were 'half or two thirds full'.

He suggests that if the states were corporations, the CEOs would have been fired a long time ago and says these two Premiers don't care about the damage they're doing.

I can't speak about Palaszczuk but in respect of Daniel Andrews he's right.
 
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ChrisW.

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I can only say that our flights had not a single spare seat last weekend, also some people given seats at the gate (standby?)
13.02 SYD - BNE on QF514
15.02 BNE - SYD on QF549

I wasn't expecting full flights but good to see customers are back for the airlines.
 

jakeseven7

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One day this week, a friend travelled on QF734 that had many empty seats (0955 hours ADL - SYD).

Tonight 'The Oz' has some entrepreneur who says he's made at least 8000 flights suggesting (with a photo included as proof) that 'a (Tuesday 16 February) 0800 hours' (possibly QF511, the 0750 hours BNE to SYD) flight had just six passengers while a SYD - MEL flight during the previous week on which he travelled had 11.

The BNE - SYD aircraft was required for maintenance in SYD, as staff on board informed the chap it wouldn't have operated but for that. As QF511, B738 VH-VYG only operated that one BNE - SYD flight on Tuesday, arriving SYD at 1007 hours, and wasn't used again until QF443, the 1200 'high noon' SYD - MEL yesterday, again only operating this one flight all day. Today, it's also only run one flight.

He makes the valid point that Palaszczuk and Andrews' border closures have destroyed confidence in (interstate) air travel and claims that patronage has decreased from when borders were open and flights were 'half or two thirds full'.

He suggests that if the states were corporations, the CEOs would have been fired a long time ago and says these two Premiers don't care about the damage they're doing.

I can't speak about Palaszczuk but in respect of Daniel Andrews he's right.

Agree they both would have been fired, AP last year, DA last week.
 

Melburnian1

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I can only say that our flights had not a single spare seat last weekend, also some people given seats at the gate (standby?)
13.02 SYD - BNE on QF514
15.02 BNE - SYD on QF549

I wasn't expecting full flights but good to see customers are back for the airlines.

Doubtless some flights are full but the random observations discussed above show the other extreme occurs.

Overall, there's been a dramatic drop in user numbers.

We'll have to wait for the BITRE monthly reports to see how much in February 2021 the decline has been.
 
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