SYDNEY (REUTERS) – Qantas Airways expects to reach more than 115 per cent of pre-Covid-19 domestic capacity levels by April as Australian state borders open, chief executive Alan Joyce said on Tuesday (Dec 7).
“Domestically, we are seeing huge demand when borders open,” he said at a CAPA Centre for Aviation event. “We have seen a surge in 24 hours in the Queensland market alone.”
Queensland on Monday brought forward the opening of its domestic borders to Dec 13, from a previous estimate of Dec 17.
Low-cost offshoot Jetstar should reach 120 per cent of pre-Covid-19 domestic capacity by April, while the premium Qantas brand should reach 115 per cent, Mr Joyce said.
He said the airline remained on track to decide by the end of the year on a preferred supplier for more than 100 planes to replace its ageing domestic fleet.
In the international market, it will take far longer to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels, though Qantas will bring back some of its A380 super-jumbo planes for flights from Sydney to London and New York from next July.
Mr Joyce said that although some decline in international business travel was expected, his airline relied on leisure travellers for 60 per cent of premium revenue, large companies for 20 per cent and small and medium businesses for 20 per cent.