QANTAS RESTRUCTURES DOMESTIC AIRFARES

Qantas is updating its domestic Economy airfare structure as the airline rolls out its three-year recovery plan.

Prices are being reduced at the top of the fare structure on some routes, and an additional fare class will be introduced to the ‘Red e-Deal’ fare family which will see smaller buy-up levels between economy class fare classes.

There are no changes for Business fares.

The new fare structure applies for tickets issued and tickets reissued on or after 4 November 2020.

What does it all mean?

‘M’ class fares—currently Qantas’ cheapest flexible economy fares—will move from the ‘Flex’ fare class to the ‘Red e-Deal’ fare family.

Is this good or bad news?

David Thompson, Manager of Sales & Client Experience at The Travel Authority Corporate, believes this is a positive move by the national carrier.

“It remains to be seen how pricing trends through 2021 but, as it stands, this restructure is good news. Big picture: Qantas has reduced published fares across most of its fare classes,” says Thompson.

One thing that is apparent, is that the domestic market will remain highly competitive, with Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia and an emergent REX making a big play on key routes.

Questions?

1. Will there be any changes to the product and experience offered onboard?

All fares will continue to be inclusive of complimentary food and beverages, in-flight entertainment, Wi-Fi (where available) and checked baggage allowance.

2. Will there be any changes to Qantas Frequent Flyer points earning rates?

Qantas Point and Status Credit earn rates will remain the same within each Qantas Frequent Flyer Earn Category.

3. Are there any changes to the number of Qantas Points required for a Classic Upgrade Reward on Qantas Domestic flights?

The points required to upgrade from Qantas Domestic Frequent Flyer Categories are not changing.

Some questions still remain, however.

Like, how will this structure change affect customers holding Qantas flight credits in M-class? Please contact us to discuss if this sounds like it might affect you.

And, if Qantas deploys smaller aircraft on some routes to adjust for the slow return of demand, what effect will this have on the availability of the lower, cheaper booking classes?

We will continue to monitor the situation and make booking recommendations accordingly.

“Even with the current unknowns, we’re pleased to see Qantas preparing for the return of significant corporate and business travel,” notes Thompson.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US [1300 935 669] to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you.

GOING DIGITAL FOR SMARTER BORDERS

The Incoming Passenger Card—the one you fill out bleary eyed on descent into Australia when you can’t find your pen — is on the way out.

In an announcement from Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs—Alan Tudge—the Australian Government says it’s preparing for the safe re-opening of global travel with the launch of a digital system that will support quick and secure collection of incoming passenger information and replace the old physical card.

The familiar Incoming Passenger Cards are on the way out.

The new Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) will be completed by Australia-bound travellers on their mobile device or computer.

Currently, passenger contact and declaration information is collected on paper cards, which are then scanned and processed manually. In a COVID world, this information is an invaluable source for contact tracing and the manual process could slow down efforts to control the virus.

The DPD will facilitate information being collected and shared more efficiently while still using the same authority for collection. The DPD will also allow certified COVID vaccination certificates to be digitally uploaded and connected if and when they become available.

“This capability will put us in a prime position to successfully reopen our borders in a COVID-safe way to help with the rebuilding of Australia’s economy,” said Mr Tudge.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US [1300 935 669] to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you!

SAFE TRAVEL ZONE WITH NEW ZEALAND

We are delighted to learn that the Australian Government is establishing a Safe Travel Zone with New Zealand from Friday, 16 October.

But before we start packing our bags and booking flights, it’s important to understand how this Trans-Tasman ‘bubble’ works. Because, it’s not quite as simple as Australia and New Zealand opening up to arrivals from each other.

A statement on the Deputy Prime Minister’s website on 02 October said, “We are committed to opening up both domestic travel within Australia and travel with New Zealand, as well as other low risk countries as soon as the health advice says it is safe to do so.”

So, what does that mean exactly?

The Australian Government’s Department of Health has undertaken a public health risk assessment of COVID-19 in New Zealand, which indicated that New Zealand posed a low risk of COVID-19 transmission to Australia.

As a result, passengers from New Zealand will be able to travel to Australia, quarantine-free, from Friday, 16 October, provided they have not been in an area designated as a COVID-19 hotspot in New Zealand in the preceding 14 days.

At this stage, however, there has been no indication of when Australian arrivals into New Zealand will be permitted.

The Australian Government defines a hotspot using a three-day rolling average of three locally acquired cases per day.

“There are currently no COVID-19 hotspots in New Zealand. The last locally acquired case with an unidentified epidemiological source occurred on 21 August 2020. We are working closely with New Zealand authorities to ensure we are notified promptly of any outbreaks there,” Mr McCormack’s statement said.

Any state or territory that imposes travel restrictions consistent with the Australian Government-defined hotspot, as advised by the acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, will be able to participate in the Safe Travel Zone.

“After offering these arrangements at the latest National Cabinet, we have reached agreement for this first stage of quarantine-free travel with New South Wales and the Northern Territory. We welcome those jurisdictions’ commitment to reopening Australia to the world,” McCormack said.

Normal visa requirements will apply and travellers returning to New Zealand from Australia will be required to comply with New Zealand’s travel requirements.

We’re dreaming of a swift return to New Zealand

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US [1300 935 669] to discuss your specific requirements.

We’d love to hear from you!