How to score one of the government’s 800,000 half price flights

Australians eager to snag a cheap holiday should have their wallets ready because the first round of 800,000 half-price flights are dropping at midnight.

The federal government’s $1.2 billion initiative was revealed earlier in the month and aims to rejuvenate the nation’s crippled aviation sector.

A round of cheap fares, about 46,000 tickets, will be released this week to 13 select tourism destinations.

Scott Morrison earlier described the move as the “ticket to recovery”.

“Our tourism businesses don’t want to rely on government support forever. They want their tourists back,” Mr Morrison said.

Qantas is offering thousands of half-price flights. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gaye GerardSource:News Corp Australia

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“They don’t want to be living forever on taxpayer assistance. They don’t want to be sitting at home.

“They want to be mobilising tourists to their region. They want to be engaged in what they set their businesses up to do.

“They want to be able to run their businesses again, which is what they love doing more than anything else.”

Here’s everything you need to know about snapping up a cheap fare.


The half-price ticket program will initially operate to 13 key regions including, the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island), the Sunshine Coast, Lasseter and Alice Springs, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula, and Kangaroo Island.

Flight routes and how many tickets are available will be driven by demand and airlines will have the final say.


Tickets are available from midnight April 1.

The fares are likely to be released in batches until the end of July unless they sell out before then.

Virgin is one of the airlines taking part. Picture: NCA Newswire / Gaye GerardSource:News Corp Australia

To book a flight, people simply have to log on to major airline websites.


Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin are the key airlines. But regional airline Rex will also offer half-price tickets on some routes, but they must have been running the route for at least two years.

On Wednesday Virgin revealed it will offer 260,000 half-price economy seats across 25 destinations.


The travel period for these fares will begin on May 1 and carry through to September 30.


The government warns these may change depending on airline negotiations and demand.

Gold Coast

Adelaide – Gold Coast

Melbourne – Gold Coast

Sydney – Gold Coast

Canberra – Gold Coast

Avalon – Gold Coast

Tropical North Queensland

Melbourne – Cairns

Sydney – Cairns

Darwin – Cairns

Whitsundays and Mackay region

Sydney – Proserpine

Sydney – Hamilton Island

Sunshine Coast (Queensland)

Sydney – Maroochydore

Melbourne – Maroochydore

Adelaide – Maroochydore

Lasseter and Alice Springs

Adelaide – Alice Springs

Sydney – Uluru

Brisbane – Alice Springs

Melbourne – Alice Springs

Perth – Alice Springs

Sydney – Alice Springs

Brisbane – Uluru

Melbourne – Uluru

Launceston, Devonport and Burnie

Melbourne – Launceston

Sydney – Launceston

Brisbane – Launceston

Melbourne – Devonport

Melbourne – Burnie


Darwin – Broome

Sydney – Broome

Melbourne – Broome

Avalon (Victoria)

Gold Coast – Avalon

Sydney – Avalon

Merimbula (New South Wales)

Melbourne – Merimbula

Kangaroo Island (South Australia)

Adelaide – Kingscote.

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