MIAMI – Qantas (QF) and sister airline Jetstar (JQ) are gaining momentum on their resumption of domestic services by deploying widebodies and opening new routes on the homefront.

Awaiting better times for international travel, the two airlines have added several new routes to the domestic network, namely Townsville (TSV) to Adelaide (ADL), Melbourne (MEL), Sydney (SYD), and ADL to Cairns (CNS), Hobart (HBA), as well as SYD to Uluru (AYQ) and Perth (PER) to Gold Coast (OOL).

With these additions, the number of routes has climbed to 45 since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

Jetstar Airbus 320-200 VH-VGV – Photo : Noah Pitkin/Airways

Widebody Aircraft Deployment

Out of these new sectors, five would be operated by 94 seater Embraer E190 under the existing Qantas-Link agreement with Alliance Airlines, the first flight with this aircraft type being operated today May 25 between ADL, Darwin (DRW) and Alice Springs (ASP).

The real newcomer on the domestic runs is without a doubt the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Equipped with 236 seats, the type is normally used on long-haul flights but the airlines will use it on domestic sectors such as the nine weekly flights from SYD to PER.

Another widebody aircraft to fly more on the aforementioned domestic schedule is the Airbus 330-200, which normally flies over Asian skies. The type will now be deployed on the SYD and BNE to DRW, and SYD and MEL to PER services. On its part, the Airbus 330-200 is already serving domestic flights on the east-west route.

Qantas Airbus 330-200 VH-EBM – Photo : Noah Pitkin/Airways

Increasing Demand on Domestic Routes

Qantas aims to offer more capacity and meet the increasing demand for domestic tourist travel. On the subject, Andrew David, QF CEO, said, “As most international travel remains off-limits for now, Australians are taking more regular holidays within the country and we expect these new direct flights to key tourism destinations will be popular with travellers.”

The Australian carrier will be the only airline offering the successful widebody Boeing 787 and Airbus 330 aircraft on domestic services. The QF CEO noted, “We know how popular the 787s and A330s are with our customers on our international network and we think there will be huge demand for the domestic flights these aircraft operate on, particularly frequent flyers looking to use points.”

Featured image: Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner VH-ZND. Photo: Aidan Pullino/Airways