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Confidence floods back as Jetstar $19 fares sell out in hours

written by Adam Thorn | June 19, 2020

Jetstar's final Airbus A330-200 service lands in Brisbane on September 25. (Daniel Foster)
Jetstar previously operated Airbus A330-200s before transitioning to the Boeing 787-8. (Daniel Foster)

Australia’s domestic aviation industry roared back into life on Friday morning when 10,000 Jetstar $19 tickets sold out in just four hours.

The special offer was part of a wider sale on 200,000 seats, with 70,000 selling out by early afternoon at a rate 40 times higher than a typical day.

The Qantas Group said the news highlights the “huge pent up demand” for air travel and will be seen by many as a sign that consumers are now confident to begin flying again.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said, “We have a lot of aircraft on the ground with fixed costs attached to them, so if we can put some of them back in the air by offering special fares, it’s a positive for us, for our people, for tourism and for consumers.”

in early May, Joyce surprisingly promised to offer $19 flights between Sydney and Melbourne when domestic flying restrictions are lifted.


This morning’s sale covered 35 routes across 15 destinations in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.

The offer included 10,000 fares for $19 one-way on 22 routes including Melbourne to Sydney, Sydney to Gold Coast, Melbourne to Byron Bay (Ballina), Brisbane to Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine), and Adelaide to Cairns.

Other sale fares included Brisbane to Mackay from $49, Sydney to Hamilton Island from $79 and Brisbane to Darwin from $79.

Jetstar said on Friday afternoon that tickets were selling at a rate of 220 per minute, nearly 40 times higher than the normal rate of bookings.

Passenger numbers have doubled across the wider group’s domestic network over the past week, from 32,000 to 64,000.

Earlier this month, Qantas announced it was planning to add 300 more return flights per week by the end of June, and Virgin said it would add 30,000 seats across 320 flights in July. More flights are expected to be added of the coming months as coronavirus restrictions ease and demand increases.

“We know that these low fares will encourage even more people to get on a flight to take a short holiday or visit family and friends,” said Joyce.

“We’ve already seen our flights from Sydney to Cairns fill up on the days after the proposed Queensland border opening date of 10 July 2020, so we’re adding more.

“There is huge pent up demand for air travel, with people wanting to get away after months of being stuck at home. Our research tells us more than 75 per cent of Australians intend to fly in the next six months.

“As the national carrier we have an important role to play in driving tourism and reviving the industry that has been devastated by COVID-19. There are 1 million people who work in tourism across Australia. The entire industry, from hotel providers to small tourism operators, are struggling to make a post pandemic comeback.”

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Comments (10)

  • Craigy


    So will the ACCC now call Qantas out for low airfares which Virgin can’t match? I would be surprised if they didn’t given their history.

  • Sam


    First everyone complained that prices would be too expensive under a QF group monopoly, now they’re complaining prices are so cheap they’re anti competitive!

  • Adrian P


    Are there additional fees for check in, carry on baggage etc as per Ryan-air.
    Any goods and services supplied by a company below cost are liable to investigation for predatory pricing.
    Be it a cheap flight or a $1 dollar loaf of bread in the local supermarket.

  • Rod Pickin


    You have to give AJ his due, the master of sweet and sour verbiage and he knows when he is on top and he is hard to restrain. As I have posted previously his pricing policy is predatory, so too is his behaviour towards his competitors in many different areas as the records clearly show. He has done very well for the QF business, a clear winner but in this particular climate AJ, a bit of humility would go a long way.

    • Craigy


      Such as Rod? Charge a lot more for seats? Maybe agree seat prices with Virgin?

    • Mark


      AJ doesn’t have to be ‘humble’. He runs a multi-billion $ company successfully.
      It’s called ‘business’.
      A bit of ‘tall poppy’ syndrome happening?

      • James


        Exactly. Like AJ has total control of everything and it’s all personal.

        Lot of childish comments here.

  • Hein


    So see the number of COVID19 cases JUMP! This is Alan Joyce at his most “I don’t care about others” self. That whole malarky about operating- room grade aur filters is just that: the contaminated air still needs to circulate into them. Admittedly, airflow in cabins in top down, but evenbso great risk of nrarby spread esp from non-symptomatic infected individuals, known as suoer spreaders for a good reason.

  • Scott


    Once again Western Australia misses out

  • Red Cee


    My wife has asthma. She won’t fly while there is a risk of catching Covid 19. How many others are in this situation?

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