Aussie fare battle heats up with Jetstar ‘return free’ deals.

November 17, 2020

The battle of the fare sales continued across Australia this week with Jetstar teaming with Tourism Australia to launch a “Return for Free” campaign aimed at boosting domestic tourism.

The low-cost airline is releasing 400,000 return trips across 51 domestic routes, prompting it to claim the title of the year’s biggest fare sale against Virgin Australia’s rival offering of 500,000 one-way fares.

Jetstar’s one-way fares start at $65 and the return flight is free.

READ: Virgin celebrates rebirth with 500,000 sale fares from $75.

The sale, which complements Tourism Australia’s Holiday Here This Year” campaign, runs from 3 pm AEDT on November 17 until just before midnight on November 19. Travel is for the post-Christmas period of February 21 onwards.

Destinations include hotspots such as Gold Coast, Cairns, Hobart, Uluru and Hamilton Island.

Fare examples include Avalon-Sydney from $65, Brisbane-Sydney from $92, Cairns-Darwin from $189, Launceston-Sydney from $89 and Melbourne-Uluru from $165.

“As the only low fares carrier in Australia, we play a key role driving tourism and reviving an industry which has been significantly impacted by COVID-19,’’ Jetstar chief executive Gareth Evans said.

“We expect the sale to be very popular, particularly for families keen to reconnect with loved ones after months apart, as well as those looking to take a well-earned break.

“We know there is a strong pent-up demand for domestic travel and we’re confident our low fares will help increase visitors and give a boost to local tourism operators across Australia.”

The sale comes as Virgin Tuesday delisted from the Australian Securities Exchange as part of the move to new ownership under Bain Capital.

The change will see former Jetstar boss Jayne Hrdlicka take over as chief executive and the airline move to a hybrid operational model with a lower cost base.

Competition is also set to increase early next year as Regional Express moves into the jet market, initially on the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane “golden triangle”.