Qantas back to London next week, LA by Xmas amid frequent flyer avalanche

Qantas reached a historic redemption of frequent flyer rewards this week and since the start of the month 2.5 billion points have been traded as Australians geared up to get back into travel.

Oct 21, 2021, updated Oct 21, 2021
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said demand had been strong (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said demand had been strong (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

Chief executive Alan Joyce said there would be short term capacity constraints which may impact pricing but expects the airline to get back to a full schedule of flights early in the new year.

But the airline will have to continue with cut price seats through its Jetstar division. Virgin managing director Jayne Hrdlicka also said Australians would enjoy “really great value” over the coming year.

“We are now seeing light at the end of the tunnel,’’ Joyce told a FCM conference today. “Every state is moving to live with (Covid).

“It looks like for Christmas we are going to get every state opened up except WA and WA will open up domestically early in the new year.

“We are starting to plan to get back to 100 per cent of pre-Covid schedule domestically by January and be above that by the time we get WA open and that’s great news for tourism and business travel and people who want to visit family and friends.’’

From November 1 Qantas would be back flying to London and LA and by Christmas the Canada, Singapore and Tokyo services would be back and twice daily services to LA and London will restart.

“Hopefully, by early New Year we will expand the rest of network rapidly and all of our international aircraft (except the A380s) will be back in the air by July next year,’’ Joyce said.

“There may be a period of time when there is a shortage of capacity because markets are opening up and because it is taking a while to reactivate pilots and reactivate aircraft. 

“In the medium to longer term I think you will see very attractive air fares out there. We are opening up frequent flyer points. On Tuesday we had a very big frequent flyer sale and we had the largest day of customer reward redemptions in our history.

“Since October 1 we have had 2.5 billion points redeemed. We see there is huge interest in people planning their trips next year and that will be there and cheap air fares.”

Virgin managing director Jayne Hrdlicka said Fiji travel would be back by December and the airline was now looking at Bali in that time frame as well.

New Zealand travel would return when it reopens it borders and there would be more short haul overseas travel and long haul “in coming months”.







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