Qantas has announced it will make 100 flights to the tropical resort of Nouméa, New Caledonia ‘points planes’ between August and November.
The initiative means every seat on the aircraft, including business and first-class, can be booked via stockpiled loyalty points as well as by cash.
Qantas currently runs five return 787 flights per week between New Caledonia and Australia.
Four of these leave from Sydney airport while one operates from Brisbane. This is in addition to the seven flights operated between Sydney and Brisbane by New Caledonian airline Aircalin.
Qantas has a codesharing agreement with Aircalin, meaning that Qantas Frequent Flyer points can be used to book classic flight reward seats on the Aircalin flights too.
While the flights subject to the scheme will be travelling in the months of August, September, October, and November, the flights will only be bookable as ‘points planes’ through until the end of July.
Recent months have seen Qantas frequent flyers rushing to use their points following the lack of travel availability through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We continue to see incredibly strong demand across domestic and international travel as frequent flyers use the Qantas Points they saved during the pandemic to book reward seats in record numbers.” Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said.
“Since flights recommenced in June, we’ve seen hundreds of Australians take off to New Caledonia for tropical holidays each week, and now frequent flyers can book any available seat across most flights using points.”
Qantas is likely keen to move through the backlog of frequent flyer points that have amassed over the last two years, and this move should go some way to entice those with points stacked up to book a picturesque pacific holiday.
The New Caledonia ‘points planes’ are the most recent initiative from Qantas designed to get frequent flyers to spend points.
Last year Qantas held a round of ‘points auctions’, two of which were won by The Block investor Danny Wallis, with a second set of auctions held in December last year.
Furthermore, the company announced in February that it would be reducing the number of Frequent Flyer points needed to book flights and hotels by between 30–45% for certain bookings.