Qantas Ramps Up Services to Western Australia

Seat capacity on routes connecting Perth with cities in other states are being increased to 40 percent of pre-Covid levels.

The skyline of downtown Perth, Western Australia, at sunset. (Photo: NeoPhoto/iStock)

With Western Australia’s hard border coming down at midnight tonight, and vaccinated visitors granted quarantine-free entry for the first time in almost two years, Qantas says more than 23,000 passengers are booked to travel this week on domestic Qantas and Jetstar flights to and from Perth.

Several of the 31 Qantas and Jetstar flights scheduled on the first day of the reopening are full; QF653 from Sydney to Perth is scheduled to be the first domestic flight to touch down at 12.05am, with JQ972 Melbourne to Perth the first Jetstar flight to arrive at 7:10 a.m.

In a statement, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce welcomed the border reopening and said it was time for Australia to move forward with confidence after an extended pause in travel. “Australia is now finally back together. This day has been a long time coming. It’s a terrific boost to West Australian tourism operators and businesses who will once again benefit from the influx of visitors from the east coast and beyond.”

“We had to cancel thousands of flights when the border reopening was cancelled in February and tens of thousands of travelers had their plans ruined, but while the reopening has been complicated, it’s great that Aussies can now travel freely again.”

During lockdown periods Qantas was flying as few as three return interstate flights a week into Perth. Since the reopening date for Western Australia was announced on February 18, Qantas and Jetstar have added around 60 return interstate flights each week in March, representing about 40 percent of the group’s pre-pandemic capacity. This will then ramp up further in April as travel demand recovers. Flights to Perth have been added from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Gold Coast, Canberra, Hobart, and Darwin.

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