Following last year’s holiday travel chaos caused by a lack of staffing and preparation, Qantas and Jetstar are mobilising reserve workers and keeping aircraft on standby in preparation for one of their busiest Christmas holiday travel periods in years as they continue to invest in improving the customer experience.
Approximately 8.5 million people are expected to fly on Qantas and Jetstar services on nearly 70,000 flights in December and January. This is more than 500,000 more people than last year and the most since 2019-20.
The Group’s single busiest day of travel in the coming weeks is likely to be Friday, December 15, with more than 150,000 customers flying throughout the day.
Qantas and Jetstar have been working tirelessly to prepare for the summer peak, ensuring a safe and enjoyable travel experience during this exceptionally busy time.
For the last 14 months, Qantas has been the most punctual domestic airline and has had the fewest cancellations. The airline is committed to delivering passengers to their destinations on time more often. Jetstar’s performance has improved significantly as supply chain concerns have subsided and new aircraft have joined the fleet.
Several additional measures are in place over the summer peak, including:
- Up to 13 jet aircraft will be on standby as ‘operational spares’, including an Airbus A380, to provide an extra buffer in disruptions.
- A significant boost to the number of reserve staff who can be called upon if there is unexpected sick leave.
- Almost 3,300 additional operational employees have been recruited over the past 12 months, including cabin crew, pilots, engineers and airport customer service staff as flying has increased.
- Maintenance has been brought forward on Qantas and Jetstar aircraft. This includes a targeted fleet health program at Qantas’ engineering facility in Brisbane on its Boeing 737 aircraft.
- The Group also works with industry partners to have extra staff during peak periods, including additional ground handlers on standby and airport security screeners.
Qantas is investing $230 million in various initiatives to address issue areas and improve the passenger experience this financial year alone. More frequent flyer reward seats and a significant improvement to the Qantas app that includes luggage monitoring, greater in-flight catering, and more generous customer recovery for significant flight delays are already in place. In response to the continued high demand for international travel, the Qantas Group is operating significantly more international capacity than last summer, including:
- Doubling flights to Japan.
- Flights to New York from Sydney have resumed (now via Auckland).
- Shanghai-Sydney flights have resumed.
- Jetstar will also start flying between Melbourne and Fiji this week.
As previously disclosed, Group International’s capacity is expected to recover to pre-COVID levels by the middle of next year and is now around 90%.
During these holidays, Bali, Auckland, Singapore, Tokyo, and London are the most popular overseas destinations.
Some of the most popular summer vacation destinations on the domestic network include the Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, and Perth.
Over one million people will fly for less than $100 in December and January on Jetstar, and frequent flyers will utilise hundreds of thousands of Classic Reward Seats on Qantas, Jetstar, and partner airlines.
It will be a busy travel summer season; therefore, Qantas advises travellers to avoid long lines and delays by checking in online, arriving early, 2-3 hours before the flight, and staying within luggage limits, which can lead to flight delays.