Qantas and Jetstar are increasing their network from 5 per cent to 15 per cent by late June as restrictions come down across Australia.
The additional services will see capacity increase by more than 300 more return flights per week with a significant lift in intra-WA flights.
Broome goes from 2 a week to 7, Newman 2 to 10, Port Headland 2 via Paraburdoo to 9 direct, Kalgoorlie, 2 to 5, Geraldton 2 to 3 and Learmonth 2 to 3, while Paraburdoo will have two dedicated flights a week.
Fares have also come down but widespread discounting is yet to be rolled out with the airline waiting for more border restrictions to be eased.
The airline groups add that additional flights will likely operate during July depending on travel demand and further relaxation of state borders, with the ability to increase to up to 40 per cent of the Group’s pre-crisis domestic capacity by the end of July.
Qantas Group is adding more services on capital city routes particularly Melbourne-Sydney and a number of routes to-and-from Canberra.
As part of the Group’s Fly Well program, Qantas and Jetstar will have a range of measures in place from 12 June 2020 to ensure a safe environment at airports and onboard aircraft.
This includes contactless check-in, enhanced cleaning, and masks and sanitising wipes provided to all customers.
As a result of the additional flying, both airlines will be standing up more employees to operate and support these services. However, given the Group network remains significantly below pre-Coronavirus levels, the majority of Qantas Group employees will remain stood down.
Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said: “we know there is a lot of pent up demand for air travel and we are already seeing a big increase in customers booking and planning flights in the weeks and months ahead.”
“We are gradually adding flights in June as demand levels increase, which will go from 5 per cent of pre-crisis levels currently to 15 per cent by late June. We can quickly ramp up flying in time for the July school holidays if border restrictions have eased more by then. Normally, we plan our capacity months in advance, but in the current climate, we need to be flexible to respond to changing restrictions and demand levels.
“The one million people who work in tourism around Australia have been really hurting over the past few months. These additional flights are an important first step to help get more people out into communities that rely on tourism and bring a much-needed boost to local businesses.
To provide passengers with greater flexibility all Qantas and Jetstar domestic customers can change the date of their flight once, without paying a change fee.
Bookings need to be made before 30 June 2020, for travel between 12 June and 31 October 2020. Customers will have to cover any fare increase (if relevant) for the new booking.
If a flight is cancelled by the Qantas Group customers will be rebooked on the next available flight at no additional cost. Alternatively, customers can choose a flight credit or a refund. For more information visit Qantas and Jetstar websites.
The airline is also encouraging passengers to download the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe app as part of improving the ability of health authorities to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
It adds that in-line with public health advice, anyone with cold and flu-like symptoms should stay at home.