Qantas ramps up flights, new routes in preparation for NZ travel bubble

Qantas has responded to the imminent launch of the two-way Trans-Tasman bubble with increased services, two new routes, an extension of the ‘Fly Flexible’ policy, plus a fast track status offer for Kiwis.

From 19 April 2021, Qantas and Jetstar will operate up to 122 return flights per week across the Tasman on 15 routes, offering more than 52,000 seats each week. This represents an 83 percent increase on current flights – a level that reflects the fact that New Zealand is expected to be Australia’s only international destination for at least the next six months.

Two new routes launched

A new daily service from the Gold Coast to Auckland will commence when the bubble opens, marking Qantas’ first ever international flights from Gold Coast Airport. The new Cairns-Auckland route will launch in time for the June long weekend, operating three days per week. Flights will initially operate for nine weeks until late July, and Qantas will look to add more flights beyond this period if there is demand.

Boosted Classic Reward seats

If you’re a travel-starved Qantas points collector, now is the time to book!

Qantas Frequent Flyer will also boost the number of Classic Reward seats for frequent flyers. As part of the recently announced ‘Points Plane’ initiative, all seats in all cabins across Qantas and Jetstar flights will be available for the first three days as a Classic Flight redemption. For the remainder of 2021, frequent flyers will also enjoy access to 50 per cent more Classic Flight Reward seats on Qantas’ trans-Tasman routes.

Qantas and Jetstar schedules

Qantas’ schedule includes year-round direct flights to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown including direct flights from Brisbane and Melbourne to Queenstown, routes which Qantas traditionally only operated seasonally for the ski season peak.

Qantas will initially operate a mix of Boeing 737s as well as the wide-body Airbus A330. Customers onboard the A330 will be able to experience an international grade Business Suite and a significantly improved Economy seat with extra storage compartments and device charging outlets.

Jetstar will initially operate to Auckland from Melbourne, Gold Coast and Sydney using its Airbus A320 aircraft, with schedules of both airlines connecting on to Jetstar’s New Zealand domestic network of more than 120 return flights per week to five destinations. Jetstar will resume flights on the remainder of its pre-COVID routes from the middle of the year.

Fares and reward seats are now available at, or through Travel Agents.

Qantas extends ‘Fly Flexible’ policy

Qantas has also today extended its “Fly Flexible” policy, offering customers who book flights before 31 July 2021 added flexibility with unlimited fee free date changes when travelling before 28 February 2022. Jetstar offers the option of purchasing Fare Credit on bookings which allow passengers to cancel flights for any reason.

Qantas extends Status Fast Track to NZ residents

With domestic flying accelerating and the expected opening of the trans-Tasman bubble, Qantas’ Status Fast Track offer has returned for a limited time and is now extended to New Zealand residents.

The initiative allows individuals who hold eligible loyalty status with another qualifying airline program to fast track their frequent flyer status to Qantas’ Gold tier by earning 100 status credits before 30 July 2021.

In addition to expediting their standing in the program the offer also includes a more generous baggage allowance and 90 days of complimentary access to the Qantas network of Qantas Club lounges.

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