Qantas and Jetstar will triple the amount of domestic and regional flights being operated around Australia by the end of June, taking the airlines’ domestic schedules from 5% to 15% of pre-coronavirus capacity.
As well as increasing frequencies on most existing routes that are still being operated, Qantas and Jetstar will soon resume flights on 9 new domestic routes.
Qantas says that it may even introduce more flights in July, depending on the easing of interstate travel restrictions and passenger demand. The airline says that it could restore up to 40% of normal capacity by the end of July, if needed.
From later this month, there will be more frequencies on routes between capital cities, including Sydney-Melbourne and Canberra-Sydney. There are currently just five direct return Qantas flights between Melbourne and Sydney per week, but this will increase to 46 flights per week by the end of June. (It’s still a significant reduction from the usual 244 return Sydney-Melbourne flights per week operated by Qantas alone!)
But the largest increases are on intra-state routes, as state governments progressively relax travel restrictions within their own states. QantasLink will also finally commence direct flights between Sydney and Ballina from 1 July. Initially slated as a daily service to begin at the end of March, the route will now launch as a 4x weekly service. Jetstar will also increase flights on the Sydney-Ballina route from next month, as well as resuming Melbourne-Ballina services.
Service on the following suspended Qantas & Jetstar routes is being resumed by the end of June:
- Adelaide-Melbourne (Qantas)
- Melbourne-Ballina (Jetstar)
- Sydney-Moree (QantasLink)
- Melbourne-Newcastle (Jetstar)
- Brisbane-Cairns (Qantas)
- Brisbane-Townsville (Qantas)
- Brisbane-Hervey Bay (QantasLink)
- Brisbane-Proserpine (Jetstar)
The relaunch of Jetstar services from Brisbane to Proserpine on 27 June 2020 coincides with the launch of Alliance Airlines flights to the town on the Whitsunday Coast from 22 June. Alliance Airlines has been advertising launch fares for its 4x weekly services from $99 one-way, including 20kg of checked luggage. Meanwhile, Jetstar is relaunching Brisbane-Proserpine flights with fares as low as $39, excluding bags.
Here is an overview of the temporary Qantas and Jetstar route network as of July 2020:
There is a full list of routes and frequencies on the Qantas website.
If you’re thinking about booking a trip, award availability on domestic flights is pretty good at the moment. There are also some deals on commercial airfares to be found, particularly with Jetstar. The low-cost carrier is currently advertising flights from Sydney to Ballina for as low as $35. But keep in mind that some state borders are still closed.
Qantas and Jetstar plan to introduce their “Fly Well” program from 12 June. From this date, all passengers will be offered face masks and hand sanitiser. But the airlines will also stop blocking middle seats on their flights.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: When will QF release their new increased timetables?