Qantas launch 7 new regional flights as more Aussies book local holidays

With Australians set to continue domestic travel through 2021 – especially given international borders will likely remain closed until next year – Qantas has rolled out a string of new flights across the country.

Following last week’s announcement the airline will have further job cuts for international cabin crew, a two-year wage freeze for its staff, and flagging a $2 billion expected loss – the airline on Tuesday said seven new routes will launch this month.

The new routes include Townsville to Adelaide/Melbourne/Sydney, Adelaide to Cairns and Hobart, Sydney to Uluru and Perth to the Gold Coast. It brings the total number of routes Qantas and Jetstar have added since the start of the pandemic to 45.

“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,” CEO Andrew David said in a statement.

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Qantas will be launching seven new routes. Picture: ADF.Source:Supplied

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“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.”

In addition to the new routes, the airline says customers will also see more widebody aircraft with Business Suites on flights between the East Coast capital cities into Perth and Darwin.

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.

The new flight routes include Sydney to Uluru.Source:Supplied

“We know how popular the 787s and A330s are with our customers on our international network and we think there will be huge demand for the domestic flights these aircraft operate on, particularly frequent flyers looking to use points,” Mr David said.

“Qantas is also the only airline in Australia operating these widebody aircraft which offer Business Suites and in-flight entertainment for all customers.

The announcement comes days after competitor Virgin Australia announced it would be launching more than 700 weekly flights and hundreds of new jobs across the country in the coming months.

Earlier this week Virgin CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said five new routes would be added by the airline. Picture: Sarah Marshall/NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said five new routes would be added to its flight schedule in an announcement earlier this month.

“Adelaide and Perth to Cairns, Sydney to Darwin and Melbourne and Sydney to Townsville,” she said. “That’s five new services which is fantastic, but we’re also growing frequencies in markets we already serve.”

The announcement will result in 250 new jobs across the country, including roles as baggage handlers, pilots and ground staff at the company’s headquarters in Brisbane.

More than 700 extra weekly flights will be added across the airline’s domestic network by October.

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