Qantas and Jetstar have announced they’re on course to hit 40 per cent of their combined pre-COVID international capacity this month.
The group has now carried almost 500,000 passengers across 27 routes, with its numbers set for a substantial increase next week when the border to New Zealand opens to Australian travellers.
Qantas alone now flies to London, Rome, LA, Singapore, Nadi (Fiji), Vancouver, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Dallas Fort Worth, Auckland, Honolulu (Hawaii), Manila and Dili.
Jetstar has also restarted a limited service to both Bali and Phuket (Thailand).
The business’ better-than-expected international recovery comes as it prepares to hit 110 per cent of pre-pandemic domestic levels at Easter.
Qantas revealed the news on Friday as it announced it would operate four weekly return flights from Sydney to the Indian tech hub of Bengaluru from 14 September.
It significantly came a week after Australia signed a historic trade deal with India, which its government believes could double trade between the two countries in five years.
“Sydney is one of the world’s truly global cities, and these new direct flights to India and Korea will make it easier for millions of people to come here,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
“The signing of the Australia-India free trade agreement is a driver of travel demand as trade and investment links expand between Australia and India’s population of more than one billion people.
“Our new direct flights to Bengaluru, combined with the planned codeshare with IndiGo, have the potential to reshape the way many people travel between Australia and India.”
Qantas and Jetstar will also both launch direct flights to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport later this year.
Jetstar will fly three times a week to South Korea using its 787-8s from 2 November, while Qantas will restart the route with its A330s from 10 December.
“South Korea is Australia’s fourth-largest trading partner, and Koreans see Sydney as one of the top tourism destinations,” said Joyce. “With expected strong business, premium leisure and low-cost travel demand on the route, we see an opportunity for both Qantas and Jetstar to fly on the route.”
The news comes ahead of Qantas launching a further six routes next week and having started six new international routes in the last six months.