After four months of border closures, Qantas and Jetstar are today set to help loved ones reunite as the first regular flights between Melbourne and Sydney take off.
The airlines will operate a combined 17 return flights between Sydney and Melbourne today, carrying around 4500 people. During the lockdown, flights on the route dropped to as low as one flight per day on what has historically been the busiest air route in the country and the second busiest in the world.
This marks the first time Victorians are able to travel anywhere interstate without quarantine since July, which for thousands of people will mean seeing family after months of being apart.
Qantas will today also start a new route between Sydney and Mildura, which was originally due to start in March, and flights between Sydney and Bendigo will resume in early December. Jetstar will resume regular flights between Melbourne and Newcastle and Ballina (Byron Bay) this week.
Following the announcement earlier this month that the NSW/VIC border will reopen, more than 25,000 seats were sold in the first 48 hours. Jetstar’s recent ‘Return for Free’ sale also saw huge demand from Victorians in particular, with the three most popular routes being out of Melbourne.
Frequent Flyer extension
Qantas has today announced an offer to extend the Frequent Flyer status of hundreds of thousands of its members for another 12 months.
To qualify for the extension – and retain the various benefits that come with each membership tier – members facing expiry in 2021 simply need to book a Qantas-operated flight between now and their current tier expiry date for travel until the end of 2021.
This follows an automatic 12-month extension that was provided at the start of the pandemic, as travel restrictions prevented members from being able to do the flying necessary to retain their Silver, Gold, Platinum or Platinum One status.
By early December, Qantas Frequent Flyers will have access to 30 of the 35 domestic and regional lounges across the airline’s network.