By Stu Freeman
Yesterday I was on Flight QF166 to the Gold Coast – Qantas’ inaugural between Auckland and Coolangatta and an early opportunity for me to experience travel in the trans Tasman bubble.
Auckland Airport yesterday (apart from a couple of slightly busier bursts during the day) was quiet to the point of being eerie – a boon for clients travelling just outside peak who want to get through the airport quickly with no hassle.
Qantas and Jetstar are set to operate up to 122 return flights per week across the Tasman
The carriers will restart flying to all pre-Covid destinations in New Zealand when the two-way trans-Tasman bubble opens later this month.
Despite QF’s ultra-long haul flights, dubbed Project Sunrise, currently being shelved, Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce predicts that when borders open it will be the type of service to resonate even more with passengers.
‘There is likely to be a stronger business case for flights like Sydney / Melbourne to London or New York, without the necessity to stop anywhere on the way.’
Qantas has released a three-year strategy to guide recovery and return to growth in the changed market.
The airline says around 100 aircraft will be grounded for up to 12 months, some for longer. There will also be job losses and extended stand downs to manage a long period of reduced flying, especially internationally.
Agents are being encouraged to still look at opportunities to continue earning points towards Sell Your Way to the USA, despite the incentive being put on hold through to mid-April at this stage.
Qantas has new perks for customers travelling to Australia, offering discounts on local experiences.