Expats in Australia will be able to travel around more easily by air as airlines Qantas and Jetstar increase capacity on east coast routes by up to 25,800 seats per week during 2012/13.
Qantas will add 11 return services per week between Sydney and Melbourne from 09 July 2012 and 11 return services per week between Sydney and Brisbane from 23 August 2012.
Jetstar will add 21 return services per week between Sydney and Melbourne from 16 August 2012, seven return services per week between Sydney and Adelaide from 15 November 2012, seven return services per week between Sydney and Ballina-Byron from 18 April 2013, seven return services per week between Sydney and the Gold Coast from 18 April 2013, three return services per week between Adelaide and the Gold Coast from 18 April 2013 and four return services per week between Newcastle and the Gold Coast from 18 April 2013.
‘The introduction of these services in 2012/13 will result in an increase of more than 496,000 additional Jetstar seats and 400,000 Qantas seats per year along the east coast,’ said Qantas Group chief executive officer Alan Joyce.
‘The additional capacity reflects the Qantas Group’s commitment to ensure our customers have the greatest choice, flexibility and product offering across a strong domestic network. We know that network and frequency are vital to customer satisfaction,’ he explained.
‘With Qantas and Jetstar we have two complementary brands that enable us to respond to opportunities and changing market conditions. Qantas is increasing capacity and frequency on key business routes to provide greater flexibility for customers who prefer the benefits of travelling with a full service carrier.
‘Jetstar is increasing capacity on key leisure routes, building on its tremendous success of offering low fares into holiday destinations like the Gold Coast. We know from experience that increasing the number of low fares in these markets will stimulate new travel demand,’ he added.
But the Group is reducing services in other parts of Australia, most notably the Northern Territory. Services between Ayers Rock (Uluru) and Cairns will be cut from 14 return services per week to seven return services per week, from 01 September 2012, between Ayers Rock (Uluru) and Perth they go down from four return services per week to two from 01 September and this service will then be suspended from 28 October 2012.
Jetstar will reduce services between Darwin and Sydney from up to 11 return services per week to seven return services per week from 16 August 2012 and services between Darwin to Denpasar go down from up to 11 return services per week to eight return services per week on 16 August 2012.
Qantas Domestic chief executive officer Lyell Strambi said the performance on the affected Qantas routes has been poor for some time.
‘We regret any impact these changes may have however despite various strategies these routes remain poor performers. The impact of the high Australian dollar on the inbound tourism market has also had a significant impact on the performance of these services,’ he explained.
Jetstar Group chief commercial officer David Koczkar said that the airline remained committed to the Northern Territory but needed to adjust its capacity in line with market forces.
‘We’ve previously flagged that routes from our Darwin base are among our most marginal, and while we understand the local community will be disappointed, our continuing ability to offer low fares to the broader market depends on our need to balance market demands with operational costs,’ Koczkar added.
Customers holding confirmed tickets on any cancelled services will be contacted by Qantas, Jetstar or their Travel Agent and provided with alternate travel options.