$19 flights: Border blockade to end with a bang
IT'S the flight flash sale set to send tourism soaring sky high.
Qantas and Jetstar will today launch a sales blitz to help reignite Queensland's ailing tourism industry.
Jetstar will offer 10,000 seats for just $19, while Qantas will also launch heavily discounted fares and triple credit frequent flyer points as part of a nationwide price slash on 200,000 seats.
The increase in flights - and the tantalising carrot of bargain fares, are just the tonic for a tourism industry bleeding millions of dollars a day due to border closures and other travel restrictions introduced during the coronavirus pandemic.
While international travel is off the table - at least in the short term, tourism bosses are ramping up campaigns to encourage Aussies to explore their own backyard.
Jetstar is launching a sale on 35 routes, across 15 destinations linking Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and the NT with interstate flights from the Sunshine State to take effect from after the supposed end of the border blockade on July 10.
There are 10,000 fares for $19 one-way on 22 routes including Sydney to Gold Coast, Brisbane to the Whitsundays, Adelaide to Cairns as well as traditional interstate links between Melbourne and Sydney.
The sale will run until Monday unless available seats sell out first, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said.
"There is huge pent up demand for air travel, with people wanting to get away after months of being stuck at home. Our research tells us more than 75 per cent of Australians intend to fly in the next six months," Mr Joyce said.
"We know that these low fares will encourage even more people to get on a flight to take a short holiday or visit family and friends.
"We've already seen our flights from Sydney to Cairns fill up on the days after the proposed Queensland border opening date of July 10, so we're adding more.
"As the national carrier we have an important role to play in driving tourism and reviving the industry that has been devastated by COVID-19.
"We have a lot of aircraft on the ground with fixed costs attached to them, so if we can put some of them back in the air by offering special fares, it's a positive for us, for our people, for tourism and for consumers."
Passenger numbers on the group's domestic network have doubled over the past week - from 32,000 to 64,000 - and are expected to increase again in the weeks ahead.
Flights involving WA and Tasmania will come online once the states give firmer indications about the easing of their own border restrictions.
It comes as Alliance also ramps up flight capacity while the Queensland government is also pursuing new deals with Air New Zealand to coincide with the launch of a Trans-Tasman bubble, which is likely to come in to effect in the coming months.
Originally published as $19 flights: Border blockade to end with a bang