Sales of 800,000 half-price plane tickets to 15 hard-hit destinations during the COVID-19 pandemic have started, with airlines joining the party with discounted deals and deals of their own
The sales come as the tourism industry experiences yet another tremor of uncertainty, with Brisbane on lockdown and a new case of COVID-19 in Byron Bay
Industry sources said the Brisbane lockdowns had an immediate impact, but bookings overall for Easter were strong
Of the 800,000 discounted seats, all economy class, 260,000 are on Virgin flights and over 500,000 are shared between Qantas and Jetstar
The number of discounted seats available varies by destination, with Virgin offering 85,000 flights to the Gold Coast and 10,000 to Cairns
While half-price tickets are on sale until July 31 (for flights mid-April to September 30), from midnight last night, Qantas was also expected to offer discounted fares to 50 additional destinations. on more than 200 routes Tickets for flights under this offer (referred to as the “Everywhere Else” Sale) will be available until April 8.
Qantas national and international CEO Andrew David said it was unfortunate the Brisbane lockdown had an impact on some Easter plans, but it was a “temporary setback”
“Almost all of the destinations Qantas and Jetstar serve are on sale, including plenty of chances to get half-price fares as part of the government’s tourism stimulus package,” Mr. David
Virgin Australia has announced that it is extending the status of its Platinum and Good Velocity members for up to 18 months
CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said half-price airfares would give regions a sense of hope and provide a much needed boost to thousands of tourism businesses
“To ensure maximum flexibility within the program, we are also extending our flexible flight policy to all half-price bookings. This is designed so that everyone can book with confidence knowing that they will definitely be able to use these great value tickets, ”she said.
Australian holidays are a dollar that supports local employment and local business, ”said M Tehan
“We want Australians to do their patriotic duty and book vacations this year through their
travel agent, and while away to eat out, go to pubs and book tours
But critics of the government’s $ 1 billion aviation package, which will be backed by an $ 8 million advertising campaign, said it would do little to help Sydney’s tourism industry and in Melbourne
In a joint statement, the Accommodation Association and Tourism Accommodation Australia said forward booking rates at properties in Sydney and Melbourne were as low as 10% in the next quarter
“Given that international travel is still a long way off and the business travel market is still marginal, this should not improve anytime soon,” the organizations warned.
Destinations included in the half-price fare program hope it will have a substantial impact after a 12-month horror
“We are still hoping for a good Easter and April school vacation with flights to the Gold Coast continuing to increase despite the Brisbane lockdown,” Patricia O’Callaghan, CEO of Destination Gold Coast told News Corp
“We are confident that the Federal Government’s package flight program will be popular with Australians who wish to enjoy a well-deserved vacation in the country’s most desirable destination.
“The Gold Coast is open for business and we know these discounted flights will be a catalyst for increasing hotel bookings today.”
Terms & Conditions apply to all flights Visit Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia websites for details
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Half-price flights in Australia
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