Qantas is preparing up to 13 additional aircraft to be on standby, including another Airbus A380, as demand soars during the busy peak travel season.
In a detailed press release, the airline revealed its plans to gear up to meet demand and prepare for any potential challenges it might face.
A Massive Peak Travel Season Arrives
The Qantas Group expects to carry over 8.5 million passengers across its Qantas and Jetstar brands from December 2023 to January 2024. Additionally, this will take place on nearly 70,000 flights.
Qantas says this is a staggering increase of more than half a million people year-over-year and is the most since the 2019/2020 peak travel season. These were ultimately the final months before the emergence of the global pandemic.
December 15, 2023, is expected to be the busiest day for flying, with more than 150,000 passengers flying across the network as school holidays arrive and the festive break begins for most.
Qantas To Have Aircraft On Standby
A total of 13 aircraft will be put on standby by the Qantas Group and essentially act as operational spares. Qantas believes that adding these aircraft, which includes another A380, will provide them with a buffer.
In the event of disruptions during the group’s busiest period of the year, these standby aircraft would enter service and cover for any lost capacity or cancellations.
Additionally, there’s a significant increase that’s occurred in reserve staff. This would come into effect if operations were hampered by sick leave, amongst other concerns to their current workforce.
Qantas says their workforce has increased tenfold over the past 12 months, with more than 3,300 joining. This includes pilots, cabin crew, and airport customer service, amongst other vital areas.
Despite an increase in the last 12 months, Qantas has been under fire for mistreating employees during the pandemic, leaving them in the position they find themselves in today, which many describe as understaffed.
As part of a continued effort to meet demand most appropriately, Qantas also brought forward critical aircraft maintenance.
International Flights Set To Soar
Qantas will continue expanding its international operations, with several vital markets seeing an increase in flying, new flights or a return of the flying kangaroo.
The Australian flag carrier proudly returned to flying from Sydney to New York, albeit via Auckland. With the arrival of the A350-1000 for Project Sunrise efforts in the coming years, the airline can serve this route without a stopover.
Additionally, a focus has been placed on Japan, where services have more than doubled from Australian cities as the location becomes increasingly popular.
Qantas resumed Sydney to Shanghai service as part of a continued effort to expand into Asia for the first time since the pandemic. This was the final destination the airline said it needed to return to meet its pre-COVID operation.