This article contains an updated summary of the most important coronavirus news that is relevant to Australian frequent flyers as of Monday, 13 April 2020. It specifically covers the implications of COVID-19 in terms of travel and loyalty programs. For the latest health advice, we recommend checking Australian government updates and the latest World Health Organization advice.
Australian government could subsidise domestic flights
The Australian government is considering subsidising Qantas & Virgin Australia domestic flights, covering any losses incurred, to ensure vital domestic air connectivity is retained. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack told ABC News Breakfast this morning that he had spoken to both airlines over the weekend.
Virgin is now down to just one Sydney-Melbourne flight per day, and Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar are effectively now just operating one aircraft each due to a lack of demand brought on by the government travel restrictions. But some people still need to travel, such as medical & essential workers, people travelling for compassionate reasons, and those coming out of their mandatory 2 weeks of hotel quarantine and needing to return to their home states.
Read more: Domestic Air Travel Grinds to a Halt
Singapore Airlines is now providing refunds for cancelled flights until 31 May
Singapore Airlines is now offering the choice of a full refund, or a travel credit with bonus credit, for cancelled flights originally booked until 31 May 2020. The credits have also had their validity extended and can be used until 30 June 2021.
Until now, Singapore Airlines had been elusive about offering refunds. Singapore Airlines last week promised to extend the status of KrisFlyer elite and PPS Club members, and extend the validity of KrisFlyer miles due to imminently expire.
Korean Air status extensions
Korean Air SKYPASS has been added to the long list of airlines now offering elite status extensions. Korean Air is extending its members’ existing status by six months.
Qantas 747 flown to Mojave, California
One of the five Qantas Boeing 747-400ER aircraft that had been left in the airline’s fleet, VH-OEG, flew to the Mojave boneyard in the Californian desert over the weekend as QF6001. It is unlikely to return to Australia any time soon, or at all.
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