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Qantas takes on Air New Zealand with Taylor Swift flights

written by Adam Thorn | July 7, 2023

Victor Pody shot this Qantas 737, VH-XZJ, in special Mendoowoorrji Livery.

Qantas has followed Air New Zealand in adding extra services for Taylor Swift’s concerts in Sydney and Melbourne in February next year.

The Flying Kangaroo will add 16 flights between Australia’s two biggest cities and Christchurch and Wellington, alongside another 50 interstate flights.

Qantas said on Friday the move was due to it recording a 1,500 per cent increase in domestic bookings last week when pre-sale and general sale tickets went on sale compared to the same period last year.

Taylor Swift will play seven concerts in Australia, four at Sydney’s 83,500-capacity Accor Stadium and three at the 100,000-capacity MCG in Melbourne. Reports suggest the musician will earn around $5 million for each concert, her first in Australia since 2018.

It comes after Air New Zealand last month pledged to add 2,000 trans-Tasman seats to allow Kiwis to fly over the ditch to see the US singer.


The NZ national carrier is putting on extra return flights from Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland to Sydney and Melbourne in February, as well as adding seats on existing flights, to cope with an anticipated surge in demand from Kiwis snubbed by the songstress’s Eras Tour, which is bypassing the Land of the Long White Cloud entirely.

The news comes after Qantas confirmed it has returned to pre-pandemic domestic capacity, with international “climbing towards” 2019 levels. It believes it’s now on track to meet its forecast FY23 profit of more than $2.4 billion.

“Top domestic leisure destinations include the Gold Coast and Cairns, while new international routes including Sydney-Auckland-New York and Perth-Rome are heavily booked,” the airline last month.

“Travel demand remains strong, and data shows that consumers continue to prioritise travel over other spending categories.”

The national carrier has taken delivery of new aircraft since the start of the calendar year, including Airbus A320neo planes for Jetstar and Boeing 787 Dreamliners for Qantas, as part of its major “Project Winton” fleet renewal program.

In its guidance in May, Qantas said fuel prices, fares, and operational buffer costs are all moderating, with jet fuel prices “remaining elevated” but falling.

Fares are declining from peaks seen in the first half of the financial year owing to the return of capacity, but yields are “expected to remain materially above pre-COVID levels” through the 2023–24 financial year, especially internationally.

“More parts of the aviation supply chain are returning to normal, which means we’re able to put some of the spare aircraft and crew we kept in reserve back in the schedule. That’s combining with lower fuel prices to help put downward pressure on fares, which is good news for customers,” said CEO Alan Joyce.

Qantas’s extra services for Taylor Swift concert 

The additional flights are scheduled between 15 February – 27 February 2024 and are currently available for booking, including:

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