Qantas has announced a further expansion of its ever-growing domestic network. The Australian airline confirmed start dates for seven new domestic routes. In addition, Qantas outlined further routes it would operate wet-leased Embraer E190 jets on, and confirmed the growing presence of its widebodies jets on domestic routes.
The new routes – Townsville to Adelaide/Melbourne/Sydney, Adelaide to Cairns/Hobart, Sydney-Uluru and Perth-Gold Coast – provide direct connections and reduce travel time for customers. They bring the total number of routes Qantas and Jetstar have added since the start of the pandemic to 45.
Five of the routes will be operated by Embraer E190 regional jets as part of QantasLink’s partnership with Alliance Airlines. The first Qantas flights operated by the 94-seat E190s took off today between Adelaide, Darwin and Alice Springs.
Fans of the Qantas wide-bodied product also got some good news on Tuesday. In addition to existing routes like Sydney-Cairns, where you can already score a flight on a Qantas international grade plane, Qantas said it was adding or up gauging its widebody services across four domestic routes.
Usually used for long haul international flights including Perth-London, the 236-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will begin operating up to nine Sydney to Perth flights per week.
Widebody Qantas Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which serviced international routes into Asia, will operate on more flights into Darwin from Sydney and Brisbane, and also into Perth from Sydney and Melbourne. These will be added to the A330s already flying on east-west routes.
So, what’s the big deal? Well, both the Airbus A330 and 787-9 aircraft offer a far superior inflight experience to the standard Boeing 737 flight. That’s important on some of the longer domestic flights, such as across to Perth. If you fly up the front, the Qantas A330 and Dreamliner Business Suite are superb. With Qantas running a 30% off sale on both domestic economy and business class flight rewards for the next few days, a jaunt up to Darwin or across to Perth on a big Airbus is a tempting proposition.
The additional flying will see Qantas’ capacity exceed 100 per cent of pre-COVID levels in the coming months and the Group’s market share around 70 per cent.
Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David said the new routes would support the growing demand for domestic tourism.
“As most international travel remains off-limits, for now, Australians are taking more regular holidays within the country and we expect these new direct flights to key tourism destinations will be popular with travellers,” said Mr David.
“Our customers now have 45 more routes to fly than we had pre-COVID making it even easier for them to get to their next holiday or business meeting. Previously, travelling between these cities meant a connecting flight in the middle, but now they can fly direct and save at least an hour in the process.
“Our strategy of adding new domestic routes is generating revenue from our aircraft rather than leaving them on the ground. It means more work for our people and even more low fares for our customers.
“We know how popular the 787s and A330s are with our customers on our international network and we think there will be a huge demand for the domestic flights these aircraft operate on, particularly frequent flyers looking to use points.
“Qantas is also the only airline in Australia operating these widebody aircraft which offer Business Suites and inflight entertainment for all customers.
“People know exactly what to expect when they book with Qantas, whether its complimentary food and drinks, baggage or access to 33 lounges around Australia.”
Fares are available from today with Qantas offering special fares including $139 on Adelaide-Hobart, $179 on Sydney-Townsville and $229 Perth-Gold Coast. Special fares are available at qantas.com or through Travel Agents, until 11:59pm 27 May, unless sold out prior.
The new flights add to Jetstar’s existing services across six of the routes, providing a range of travel options for Qantas Group customers.