Aviation

Qantas announces new routes, points offer and a supermoon scenic flight

Qantas has been a busy bee lately, announcing a spate of new routes, a points deal for ski enthusiasts and a very special lunar-themed scenic flight.

The national carrier will introduce a direct flight between Adelaide and the Gold Coast from 25 June, with promises of additional routes from Adelaide in the coming weeks.

The new routes follow the national carrier’s decision to house five Embraer E190 aircraft in Adelaide in response to a growing demand for both leisure and corporate travel.

The airline said it plans to use the E190 aircraft to begin flying between Darwin and Canberra from 21 June.

“Basing these aircraft in Adelaide means we can service South Australia better and help bring more visitors to the state,” Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Group, said.

“The E190 is a great aircraft for the Adelaide market, with its size, range and economics opening up a number of new destinations that wouldn’t be viable with the larger 737 aircraft.

“Instead of one or two flights a day with a larger aircraft, we can offer three or four flights a day on the E190, which gives customers a lot more choice about when they travel.”

On top of these two new routes, the flying kangaroo plans to launch direct flights from Burnie to Melbourne for the first time in 15 years.

Beginning 21 June 2021, QantasLink will operate seven weekly return flights from Burnie to Melbourne with its 50-seat Q300 turboprop aircraft, adding 700 seats on the route each week.

“We’re pleased to be adding Burnie to our map again to help support growing demand and offer travellers and the business community more choice,” John Gissing, CEO of QantasLink, said.

“Tasmania has been popular with our customers since travel restrictions started to ease last year, and these new flights will make it easier for travellers to experience the culture, natural beauty and wildlife of Burnie and its surrounds.”

For those headed across the ditch for some fresh powder, the airline is now offering Qantas Frequent Flyer members the ability to use their points to pay for lift passes at five snowfields across New Zealand this winter.

Members can use points to book three, four, five and six-day lift passes at Cardrona, Treble Cone, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mount Hutt.

Early bird passes start from 33,000 Qantas Points for three days which, when coupled with a return Classic Rewards booking to New Zealand, means Frequent Flyers could have their flight and lift pass squared away for less than 70,000 Qantas Points.

As a cherry on top of Qantas’ busy week of announcements, the airline is also offering a limited number of people seats on a one-off supermoon scenic flight.

Complete with cosmic cocktails and supermoon cakes, the flight will take place on a B787 Dreamliner with the promise of a closer viewing of the upcoming supermoon later this month.

It will be the second and last supermoon for 2021 and also coincides with a full lunar eclipse, making it a rare double phenomenon, with the moon expected to turn red against the night sky.

Image: iStock/Alderfen Imagery

CSIRO astronomer Dr Vanessa Moss will work with the pilots to design the optimal flight path over the Pacific Ocean, and will and also join the flight to provide insights into supermoons and all things space and astronomy.

Just over 100 seats went on sale on Wednesday, with fares starting from $499 for economy, $899 for premium economy and $1,499 for business.

The three-hour flight will take place on 26 May, beginning with a scenic flyover of Sydney Harbour before climbing above potential cloud cover and pollution to a cruising altitude of 43,000 feet – the maximum cruising altitude of a Dreamliner – for supermoon and full lunar eclipse viewing.

The flight, which will depart from, and return to, Sydney, is the latest in a series of special flights Qantas has operated for avid flyers while international borders remain shut, including its famous Flight to Nowhere and Flight to Somewhere.


Featured image source: iStock/Alderfen Imagery

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