Qantas will expand its international network again by launching a new route between Melbourne and Jakarta on 16 April.
The three-times-weekly service will use the Flying Kangaroo’s widebody A330s and rival Garuda Indonesia, which currently flies the same route twice a week.
It follows chief executive Alan Joyce stating he expected his airline to return to 80 per cent pre-COVID international capacity by the middle of the year.
The new service adds to Qantas’ daily flights from Sydney and will increase seats to and from Jakarta by more than 6,600 per month.
Qantas’ international CEO, Andrew David, said, “We expect these flights to be popular with Victoria’s large Indonesian expat community wanting to visit family and friends back home as well as offering a new gateway for travellers looking to explore the region.
“Indonesia is a rapidly growing economy and home to more than 270 million people. As one of Australia’s closest neighbours, these new flights will also help support the growing trade and investment links between our two countries.”
Melbourne-Jakarta is the third new international route out of Melbourne to be added to the Flying Kangaroo’s network since borders reopened, following the launch of flights to Delhi and Dallas Fort Worth.
The route from the Victorian capital to Dallas/Fort Worth was the flag carrier’s latest “ultra-long-haul” route using its 787-9s, to add to services from Perth to London and Rome, as well as Sydney-Dallas.
The three-times-weekly service is one of the world’s longest, with the return trip back to Australia scheduled to last more than 17 hours.
It’s also Melbourne’s first non-stop connection to a North American city that’s not on the west coast.
The Flying Kangaroo has had huge success with so-called ultra-long-haul routes using its fleet of modern Boeing Dreamliners.
Its seasonal service from Rome to Perth even became one of the most successful in its history after it saw 98 per cent of seats full during July 2022.
Customers were able to combine the Rome flights with Qantas’s double-daily direct flights between Australia and London, meaning they could fly in and out of different cities on one return ticket through until October last year.
It compares far more favourably to Air New Zealand, which has seen a litany of problems with its flight from Auckland to New York using Dreamliners.
Domestically, Qantas is also planning to increase capacity to 104 per cent of pre-COVID levels in the fourth quarter of FY23.
The increase adds 57 additional return services per week on the “golden triangle” of Sydney–Melbourne–Brisbane and adds seats to transcontinental services to-and-from Perth using the airline’s Airbus A330 fleet.