Aviation

Say namaste: Qantas’ first India flights in almost a decade take to the skies

Qantas’ new route between Sydney and Delhi took to the skies today, marking the carrier’s first commercial flight from Australia to India in almost a decade.

The flight took off from Sydney shortly after 6am and will touch down in Delhi after a 15-hour journey.

According to the national carrier, the new service, and its Melbourne-Delhi service, which starts just before Christmas, have been the fastest-selling routes on the national carrier’s international network since borders reopened with most flights in December almost entirely sold out.

Qantas is operating three weekly return flights from Sydney to Delhi, which will increase in January 2021, and four weekly return flights from Melbourne to begin from 22 December 2021.

Qantas domestic and international CEO Andrew David said demand for flights between Australia and India had surpassed the airline’s expectations.

“There was an incredible response when we announced both our new routes to Delhi. Forward bookings for the next few months are well ahead of our initial forecasts so while it’s early days, it’s an exciting start,” David said.

“The level of pent up demand on this route can be seen by the fact that almost all customers travelled as planned despite the temporary three-day additional isolation requirement.”

It’s the first time Qantas has operated a commercial service to India since the end of its Brisbane to Mumbai service in 2012 and the airline’s first regular passenger flight from Australia to Delhi since 1974.

Meanwhile, the Flying Kangaroo is continuing to auction off exclusive experiences with its second Frequent Flyer Points Auction.

Frequent flyers have been busy waving their virtual paddles since Wednesday morning, with a luxury South Australian getaway, an iconic London holiday package, three days with of NYE celebrations in Sydney, a luxury ski package in Whistler, a special Neil Perry dining experience for 15 guests, and a day on the green at Huntingdale Gold Course already going under the hammer.

Qantas’ Points Auction continues apace with a private jet experience going under the hammer on Tuesday

It follows the inaugural Points Auction in August which saw frequent flyers bid for money-can’t-buy experiences including a 787 Simulator experience, a kids soccer coaching clinic with Socceroos Coach Graham Arnold and a private Qantas Dash-8 charter flight, all of which were hotly contested.

Here’s what’s still to come:

  • Day 7 – Tuesday 7 December: The private jet set: A luxury day trip to Hamilton Island
    • Luxurious private jet, previously owned by the Dutch Royal family, for up to 24 people from Brisbane Airport VIP Terminal to Hamilton Island.
    • Champagne and continental breakfast onboard.
    • Scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef.
    • Luxury, private charter boat to world-famous Whitehaven Beach including a gourmet picnic.
    • Visit Catseye Beach by kayak, paddleboard or catamaran, or take in the view by the Main Pool.
    • Starting bid = 3.5 million Qantas Points
  • Day 8 – Wednesday 8 December: On the pitch with Ricky: Tour the MCG with Ricky Ponting
    • A tour of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and locker rooms for six people, accompanied by Ricky Ponting, lunch and a Ponting Wines wine tasting session.
    • Starting bid = 100k Qantas Points
  • Day 9 – Thursday 9 December:
    • Item 1: Upgrade your lounge room: Pair of pre-loved Boeing 747 Premium Economy seats
      • Also includes a pre-loved, full-sized bar cart including a set of Qantas crockery and cutlery.
      • Starting Bid = 100k Qantas points
    •  Item 2: Sky-high slumber: A pre-loved A330 Business seat
      • Also includes, a pre-loved, full-sized bar cart including a set of Qantas crockery and cutlery and a converter to plug it into an electrical output (for recline function and reading lights).
      • Starting Bid = 100k Qantas points

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