Qantas and Jetstar gear up for 8.5 million travellers this holiday period

Santa claus standing on an airport apron and leaning on suitcases
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Qantas and Jetstar are preparing for one of their busiest Christmas holiday travel periods with more than 8.5 million people expected to fly on Qantas and Jetstar services throughout December and January on nearly 70,000 flights.

    This is more than half a million more people than the same time last year and the most since 2019-20.

    The single biggest day of travel across the Group in the coming weeks is expected to be Friday 15 December with more than 150,000 customers flying throughout the day.

    To prepare for the upcoming busy season, several measures are in place including:

    • Up to 13 jet aircraft will be on standby as ‘operational spares’, including an Airbus A380, to provide extra buffer in the event of disruptions.
    • A significant boost to the number of reserve staff who can be called upon if there is unexpected sick leave.
    • Almost 3,300 additional operational employees have been recruited over the past 12 months including cabin crew, pilots, engineers and airport customer service staff as flying has increased.
    • Maintenance has been brought forward on Qantas and Jetstar aircraft. This includes a targeted fleet health program at Qantas’ engineering facility in Brisbane on its Boeing 737 aircraft.
    • The Group is also working with industry partners to have extra staff during peak periods, including additional ground handlers on standby and airport security screeners.

    Alongside this, the Qantas Group is operating more international capacity this summer than last year to cater for continued strong demand for international travel. Steps have been made to service this, including:

    • Qantas has more than doubled its Australia-Japan flights with thousands of Australians heading off on a skiing holiday in the coming months.
    • Flights to New York from Sydney have resumed (now via Auckland).
    • Shanghai-Sydney flights have resumed, the final international destination to return to Qantas’ pre-COVID network since borders reopened.
    • Jetstar will also start flying between Melbourne and Fiji this week.

    As previously disclosed, Group International capacity is expected to return to pre-COVID levels by the middle of next year and is currently around 90 per cent.

    Some of the most in-demand international destinations these holidays include Bali, Auckland, Singapore, Tokyo and London. Across the domestic network some of the most popular summer holiday spots are the Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne and Perth.

    Travellers who have not yet booked for the holiday period are encouraged to look at mid-week fares, which tend to offer the best value.

    Qantas has also unveiled a series of tips for smooth travels this holiday season. These include:

    • Check-in online – available online and on Qantas and Jetstar apps for domestic flights.
    • Arrive early – customers should arrive at least 1-2 hours prior to departure for domestic flights and 2-3 hours for international flights.
    • Stay within baggage limits – check limits for cabin and checked baggage before travelling. Customers bringing excess cabin baggage on board can lead to flight delays.
    • Be patient and respectful – with so many people travelling over summer some parts of air travel can take a little longer than normal, like security screening, so please be patient and be respectful to airport staff, crew and other customers. Bad weather and air traffic control issues can also contribute to delays and cancellations.

    (Featured Image: Santa Claus stands on an airport apron and leaning on suitcases – iStock/Ljupco)

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