SYDNEY, AAP – Qantas says it is seeing a surge in travel demand and confidence as local and international borders reopen.
The national carrier has seen close to half-a-million domestic bookings in the past two weeks, chief executive Alan Joyce told shareholders on Friday as Australia’s two biggest states, NSW and Victoria, reopened borders after hitting major milestones in COVID-19 vaccination rates.
That compares with about 20,000 bookings over a two-week period in August.
“A return to scale is good news for all customers, because it means we can reopen lounges and bring more aircraft back into service,” Mr Joyce said at the company’s annual general meeting.
He said bookings to South Australia increased more than sixfold since its premier outlined the lifting of travel restrictions late last month.
Bookings to Brisbane, Gold Coast and Cairns have also jumped tenfold in the past two weeks.
Internationally, demand for seats on Qantas’ London to Sydney service have been very strong, while Jetstar’s recent international sale saw 75,000 seats sold in 72 hours.
Qantas Loyalty recorded its single biggest day for flight redemptions in October, with more than half a billion points spent on 15,000 domestic and international seats in 24 hours, Mr Joyce said.
Meanwhile, the airline will expand its domestic network with the announcement of two new routes. QantasLink will begin flights between Adelaide and Newcastle, as well as Wagga Wagga and Brisbane from early next year.