Qantas has announced an expansion of its international network as it adds more than 250,000 seats with more aircraft set to return.
The Australian group says it’s currently at 80% of pre-COVID international flying capacity but has seen strong signs of recovery, with the percentage point doubling from one year prior.
By adding new services, increasing flights and redeploying widebodies onto international services, the expectation is that by March of 2024, the figure will finally replicate pre-COVID times.
Sydney to Bali will see an increase in capacity from October of this year. The airline will deploy an Airbus A330 on service. This is an upgrade from the single-aisle Boeing 737 that was previously deployed.
Sydney continues to see substantial increases in flying, with flights to New York via Auckland increasing from four times a week to daily. This is effective from August of 2024.
This is in preparation for the arrival of the Airbus A350-1000 for Project Sunrise flights which should make Sydney to New York possible without a single stop in what is described as the final frontier of travel for the Australian airline.
Meanwhile, South Africa will see a massive upgrade in flying from July of 2024, with the Sydney to Johannesburg connection witnessing the Airbus A380 for the first time, doubling capacity.
Further down south, Melbourne will see a 20% boost in capacity to Los Angeles, with more Airbus A380s slated to be deployed on the route from July 2024 as well.
Lastly, Sydney to Los Angeles will also see an increase with nine flights per week, up from the previous eight. This is expected to commence in July 2024 and will see the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 sharing the bulk of the workload.
Hundreds of thousands of extra seats on our network is great news for our customers planning their next overseas trip. We know our customers are looking for great value and this additional capacity will put more downward pressure on fares. The additional capacity will largely be made possible through our final two A380s returning to the Qantas fleet following heavy maintenance and cabin improvements.Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace
There’ll also be changes to the international network with Sydney to Shanghai resuming in late October, and this is the first time the connection will be operational following the global pandemic—meanwhile, two new connections from Brisbane, including Wellington in New Zealand.
Qantas has been substantially aided by the return of the world’s largest passenger plane, the A380, in recent years following its grounding during the pandemic. As a result, with new 787s being delivered, it can ease the pressure on the Boeing widebody and increase flying.