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$12 to fly one of world’s busiest routes shows cost of recovery

Angus Whitley


 /  Tue, May 5, 2020  /  02:59 pm
$12 to fly one of world’s busiest routes shows cost of recovery

This photograph taken on May 4, 2014 shows an aircraft of Australian low-cost carrier Jetstar Airways approaching Changi International Airport in Singapore. (Agence France -Presse/Roslan Rahman)

Air fares between Sydney and Melbourne, one of the world’s busiest routes, could fall as low as A$19 (US$12) to persuade the public to fly after the coronavirus pandemic, according to Qantas Airways Ltd.

Qantas’s low-cost airline Jetstar could charge between A$19 and A$39 for those tickets once Australia lifts travel restrictions, Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said on a call with reporters on Tuesday.

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“We’ve no doubt that there’s a need for some stimulation to start a lot of the market traveling again,” Joyce said. “We’ll still cover our cash costs on those flights.”

Sydney-Melbourne is the fifth-busiest route globally, with about 10 million seats a year, according to OAG Aviation Worldwide. Jeju-Seoul in South Korea ranks top with 17.4 million seats.

Qantas expects the domestic market to open before overseas routes. As it borrowed yet more funds to weather the crisis, the airline said Tuesday that demand to fly overseas could take years to return. It has extended international flight cancellations until the end of July and is only operating at about 5 percent of its usual passenger capacity domestically.

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