Qantas has unveiled a comprehensive strategy to address the service disruptions that have plagued the company in recent times, including the reduction of its aircraft capacity by one-fifth and the expenditure of an additional $200 million on more staffing.
Qantas announced on Thursday that it would reserve up to 20 of its planes to avoid cancellations and delays in the wake of criticism that it overextended capitalising on the post-COVID-19 tourism boom.
Flight cancellations for Qantas decreased from 4% in August to 2.4% in September and 1.7% in October.
The airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce, has stated that due to the pandemic’s effects, “a lot greater operational buffer than it used to” is necessary.
Mr Joyce explained that in order to meet this objective, “additional personnel and more aircraft will be on standby, and our flight schedule will be adjusted to assist make that feasible until we are certain that extra support is no longer needed.”
Concerned that it is dangerously understaffed after laying off thousands of workers during the COVID outbreak, the national carrier has said it would spend $200 million between now and next June on employing additional staff, training them, and paying them overtime.
Qantas, QantasLink, and Jetstar have all announced substantial pricing discounts in conjunction with the plan’s announcement, with as many as one million domestic tickets going on sale.
Qantas said that 80% of Jetstar sale tickets would be under $100, while more than a fifth of reduced Qantas fares will go under $200.
Mr Joyce said that while some Jetstar rates are lower than the cost of a taxi to the airport, Qantas flights provide exceptional value for the well-organised since they include checked luggage, complimentary food and beverages, free wi-fi, and seat selection.
It comes as experts predict steep costs for domestic and international flights in the run-up to the Christmas holiday.
The airline decided to reserve seats after receiving negative feedback regarding service quality in previous months.
Qantas’ move to reserve flight capacity was in reaction to recent public criticism of poor service standards.
Qantas’ problems were beyond its control, but because public criticism has focused on the national carrier rather than other airlines, it was obliged to respond.
Experts worry that the plan to reserve airline capacity will increase prices over Christmas.
So, in case you are still wondering why airfares are so expensive, the answer is: As there is less capacity and more demand, airfares will continue to rise.