Qantas and Jetstar are planning on restarting most of their international flying from October 31.
While that will account for most of their routes, there are a couple of exceptions. Firstly, New Zealand flights could ramp up as early as July. Secondly, if you were looking at flying to New York, Santiago or Osaka, you won’t be able to do it on a Qantas aircraft until a later date.
The change reflects a delay of four months to their previous intentions to restart from July. The move to October is based around it aligning with the expected completion of the vaccination program in Australia.
Starting with less capacity
While the flights may recommence in October, Qantas will be operating at a reduced capacity. This may mean a reduced schedule and smaller aircraft. So, we probably won’t be seeing the A380s coming back into service for now. All up, expect to see the 787s on the long haul routes, with the A330s operating flights into Asia
Qantas does not expect international travel to return to its previous capacity until 2024. One of the consequences is that aircraft deliveries will be deferred. So, they won’t be taking deliveries of the additional 787s until further down the rack.
Fly Flexible extended
To assist customers in making bookings with confidence, Qantas is now offering unlimited date changes on fares through to February 2022.
Until 28 February 2022, enjoy unlimited fee-free changes to your date of travel when you book any:
- Qantas operated Australian domestic flight between 21 May 2020 and 30 April 2021, for travel between 12 June 2020 and 28 February 2022.
- Qantas operated trans-Tasman flight between 15 October 2020 and 30 April 2021, for travel between 16 October 2020 and 28 February 2022.
- Qantas operated international flight booked between 25 February and 30 April 2021, for travel between 1 November 2021 and 28 February 2022.
While there is no change fee on changing dates, you will still be up for any fare change that occurs.
Overall, it is a reasonably flexible policy. Obviously, Qantas wants your money and is trying to remove barriers to people booking tickets.