Qantas has announced that it will
operate thousands of flights to and from Melbourne and regional
Victoria over summer following the New South Wales Government’s
decision to open its borders.
From 23 November, Qantas and Jetstar will operate
more than 250 flights per week across five routes, offering travellers 48,000 seats between the two states. This compares with
just ten return flights per week operating between Melbourne and
Sydney (the only route currently operating between NSW and VIC).
The flights will see the Qantas Group’s
overall domestic capacity increase from around 30 per cent per
cent of pre-COVID levels to just under 40 per cent from late
November, with more aircraft ‘woken up’ and more employees
returning to work to support the additional flying.
Andrew David, Qantas Domestic &
International CEO, said, “This is fantastic news. We’ve added thousands more flights
back into our schedule which will see Melbourne-Sydney once
again become the busiest air route in Australia. November
23 will be a day many people will now be looking forward to. It’s
exciting for the family and friends who can finally be reunited
after months apart. It’s also great for businesses, and
great for getting more of our planes in the air and more of our
people back to work. Pre-COVID, Melbourne-Sydney was the
busiest air route in Australia and the second busiest in the
world. On a busy day, Qantas and Jetstar would operate more than
100 flights per day between New South Wales and Victoria. During the lockdown, our schedule reduced to as low as one flight a day.
“When you consider the social and economic impact of border
closures, we’ve always said things should open up as soon as it’s
safe to do so. New South Wales has led the way in taking a
sensible, risk-based approach to borders that’s supported by what
is probably one of the best contact tracing programs in the world.
It’s great to see New South Wales and Victoria working together on
what is a national issue. Queensland and Western Australia are
unfortunately taking a different approach, which doesn’t seem
based on a realistic assessment of risk.”
The airline has said that more flights will be
added if there is
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