Regional towns ’front of mind’ as Qantas cancels domestic flights
WHILE Qantas has been forced to cancel almost all of its international flights, and ground over half of its domestic fleet due to coronavirus, the airline has offered some assurance to its Qantaslink customers in the southwest.
As the airline works to confirm which routes will not run over the coming months, it has made the assurance that small regional services are not being forgotten.
While Qantas could not make comments on the future of Roma-Brisbane and Charleville-Brisbane flights at this stage, a spokeswoman told the The Western Star the regional routes are important to the team as they work out a plan of action.
“Specific detail on individual routes is being worked through and will be announced in the coming days,” she said.
“But suffice to say, at front of mind as we work through the changes is the understanding around how important Qantas flights are to regional communities in particular.”
Qantas made the announcement this morning that it would cancel 90 per cent of international flights and 60 per cent of domestic flights, as demand for travel wanes during the global coronavirus pandemic.
The cuts are set to affect Qantas and Jetstar flights from the end of this month.
In a statement, the airline confirmed 150 passenger aircraft will be grounded, but freight will be unaffected.
“Despite the deep cuts, the national carrier’s critical role in transporting people and goods on key international, domestic, routes will be maintained,” the statement read.
“This includes using some domestic passenger aircraft for freight-only flights to replace lost capacity from regular scheduled services.
“Qantas’ fleet of freighters will continue to be fully utilised.”
In light of the cancellations, Qantas will be offering no-cost cancellations for passengers who choose to suspend their travel.
It is understood the booking waiver is valid for all Qantas group tickets.
“The Group has issued a wide-ranging booking waiver for customers wanting to suspend their travel plans,” the airline’s statement read.
“Customers with existing bookings on any domestic or international flight until 31 May 2020, who no longer wish to travel, can cancel their flight and retain the value of the booking as a travel credit voucher.
“This needs to be processed by 31 March 2020.
“Customers who make a new domestic or international booking and later decide they no longer wish to travel, can cancel their flight and retain the value of the booking as a Qantas travel credit or Jetstar travel voucher.
“This applies to bookings made from 10 March 2020 until 31 March 2020 for travel before 31 May 2020.
“If flights were booked through a travel agency or third-party website (e.g. Webjet, Booking.com), customers will need to contact them directly to make changes to their booking.
“Customers should not call the contact centres. Due to high demand, we are experiencing long call wait times.”
Qantas customers who booked directly through the airline should visit Manage Booking on Qantas.com, select ‘Cancel’ and then ‘Voucher’.
Jetstar customers should visit the Manage My Booking section of the Jetstar website.