travel

3 things we can expect when flights resume, according to the Qantas CEO.

“The Qantas of 2021 and 2022 will not be the Qantas of 2019,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said on Tuesday.

Like many businesses, Australia’s flag carrier has suffered crushing consequences from coronavirus, and will endure a years-long recovery post the pandemic.

In fact, the airline is currently operating at about five per cent of its pre-crisis domestic network and one per cent of its international network.

We do know, though, that politicians, scientists and industry experts are in the early stages of exploring how Australians might be able to start safely moving around again in the coming months, with increasing talk of establishing a ‘travel bubble’ for Australia and New Zealand, whereby citizens could pack their bags for a trip across the Tasman long before the rest of the world opens its borders.

Side note: these are the different types of people you’ll see at the airport. Post continues below video.

Video via Mamamia

CEO of Qantas Alan Joyce has penned an open letter to travellers via his LinkedIn explaining exactly what customers can expect when we’re all flying again.

Here are the three things we can expect when flights resume, according to the Qantas CEO.

1. Low fares

Whilst Joyce admits there is still a lot of uncertainty, he said “we can be pretty certain… there will be lots of low fares”.

Given the struggling economy, this is – of course – great news for customers.

“Airlines will be keen to stimulate travel demand to get their people and aircraft back to work and restart their cashflow pipelines, repairing the damage done by the devastating and sudden drop in revenue.

“That’s good news for consumers because it means plenty of good deals.”

travel restrictions
"Airlines will be keen to stimulate travel demand." Image: Getty.
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2. More domestic travel

It’s been nearly two months since a travel ban was enforced in Australia.

Once we can fly again, we know that domestic travel will begin before international restrictions are lifted.

"Australia has done a remarkable job of flattening the curve and cutting coronavirus infection rates," Joyce said. "We have to be careful not to take the brakes off too early, but restrictions on domestic travel are likely to lift well before international travel.

"That’s great news for our local tourism industry, with more people holidaying in Australia to start with."

He added that a recent survey of Qantas Frequent Flyers showed that about 85 per cent are "keen to travel again once they’re able to".

As for flights overseas, Joyce says the timeline remains unknown, but that it could take years for international travel demand to return to what it was.

Listen: When will we travel again? Flying, Australia & COVID 19. Post continues below audio. 

3. Competition.

With Virgin Australia entering voluntary administration in April, and international competitors essentially shut out from Australian borders, Joyce says it is critical that the airline industry remains a competitive market.

"The Australian domestic market has huge potential. And for that reason this is never going to be a one airline town – or it wouldn’t be one for long.

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Joyce adds that the alternative to a competitive market is increased regulation, which he says is an "unattractive" option.

"Stiff competition has made Qantas better over the years and we don’t want that to stop now."

Joyce ends his letter saying in part, "if this period of isolation has taught us nothing else, it’s how much we value seeing people and places... I know our people can’t wait to welcome them back on board when the time is right".

For more on COVID-19:

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.

Feature Image: Supplied.


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