Qantas will increase flights to the United States, Asia and within the local Pacific region, and put some larger aircraft back in service, culminating in significant boosts to capacity as travel demand continues.
Routes increasing the frequency of connection between Australia and the US include Melbourne-Los Angeles flights to increase from daily to nine per week, combined with the use of more A380s on the route, which will increase capacity by more than 60 per cent. Flights between Sydney and New York, via Auckland, will increase from three to four services per week.
Connecting to Asia, Qantas will increase flights between Australia and Tokyo from 14 to 28 per week, flying out of Melbourne and Brisbane daily and Sydney twice a day. Flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong will increase from four per week to daily, and between Melbourne and Singapore from 10 per week to 14 per week, from March 2024. Sydney will also get one additional flight to Singapore each week. Meanwhile, flights between Sydney and Shanghai will restart after more than three years, operating daily.
Closer to home, flights between Sydney and Christchurch in New Zealand will increase from 11 to 14 per week, while a new route between Brisbane and Wellington will operate daily.
The increase in flights will put Qantas back up around 100 per cent of its pre-COVID international flying capacity by the end of March 2024.
The new flights will be primarily operated by pilots and cabin crew recruited since Australia’s international border reopened in February 2022, with an additional 300 staff to be recruited before the end of the year to service the boost in capacity.
“The rebound in demand for international travel since borders reopened has been incredibly strong and this boost to our network will add hundreds of thousands of seats in time for the busy Australian summer holiday period,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
“Qantas has been the most on-time major domestic airline for the past eight months in a row and that improved performance means we can release some of the aircraft we’ve had in reserve.
“That reflects more parts of the aviation supply chain returning to normal and it’s a huge credit to the hard work of our people across the group.”
Joyce said there was “still a mismatch between supply and demand for international flying” while airlines globally scaled up their services again, but that the new flights from Qantas would also help put downward pressure on airfares.
Singapore Airlines has also increased its Australian connections, with double daily A380 services between Sydney and Singapore recommencing last Thursday, adding 1,176 seats between the two cities each week, including suites and business class seats.
Like Qantas, Singapore Airlines regional vice president for the South West Pacific Louis Arul confirmed travel demand had remained strong for the airline since the borders reopened between the two countries in November 2021.
“The additional A380 also provides customers with access to First or Suites Class on three of our four daily flights from Sydney. Delivering more seats across our premium cabins, as well as increased capacity in Economy Class, highlights our longstanding commitment to Sydney,” said Arul.
“The additional capacity will ensure Australian’s have more opportunities to travel for business or pleasure and visitors from around the world can explore what New South Wales and Australia has to offer.