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A Qantas A380 on the ground in Dallas (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Parker Davis)

Qantas Enhances Services Between Sydney And Melbourne

Following the border reopenings, Qantas and its no-frills airline, Jetstar, have announced that they will operate 17 return daily flights between Sydney and Melbourne, together carrying 4500 passengers a day. Victoria was the epicentre of the coronavirus in Australia, and the state has been suffered a nearly four-months lockdown that was just eased at the end of October. In the meantime, Qantas has launched a new domestic service between Sydney and Mildura, Victoria which scheduled to launch in March.

According to Qantas, Sydney-Melbourne was the second busiest route in the world before the pandemic, carrying 10 million passengers every year. However, the route saw its flight frequency slashedto one daily flight during lockdown.

“As borders continue to open, we’re expecting a boom in domestic travel,” Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas said about the resumption.

Sydney Airport sounded the alarm and advised passengers and visitors should wear a face mask when the social distancing is not practical. The airport expected the terminals will fill up with passengers after Sydney-Melbourne frequencies were increased.

Melbourne Airport welcomed the reopening of the route.

“It’s really positive that states are starting to reopen to Victoria, giving people the opportunity to reconnect with their loved ones well before Christmas,” Lyell Strambi, the airport’s chief executive, said. Melbourne Airport revealed its passenger volume was 39,000 in October, a 98% drop compared to same time last year.

Qantas is optimistic about the future as a result of successful trials of coronavirus vaccines. In the domestic market, Joyce is looking forward to reopenings of Queensland and Western Australian. Joyce hopes to see Australians “being able to get together for Christmas.”

The flag carrier believed that international flying could be increased to 50% of pre-Covid-19 level by mid-2021, and the airline expects “a significant amount of international operation” between June and July. Qantas is already planning to reactivate its long-haul international aircraft and get its staff back to work.

Joyce has forecasted the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand could be established in a few months despite the New Zealand government saying lately that quarantine-free travel for Australians is unlikely to happen by Christmas. Nowadays, Kiwis can go to New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory without needing to quarantine.

Qantas has seen a slow recovery after being hit by the coronavirus. In November, four domestic routes have been launched – like that between Tasmania and Mainland Australia – and Qantas expanded its services from Canberra to Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Hobert.

Will Lee
Will Lee
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