Qantas and Jetstar have announced a major expansion of international flying from Australia, with new flights announced to India and Korea, and services to Vietnam talking off for the first time in two years.

Headlining the announcements are new direct flights on Qantas between Sydney and Bengaluru (Bangalore) from 14 September, using its widebody Airbus A330 aircraft, and services on Qantas and Jetstar direct to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport later this year.

Jetstar will become the only low-cost carrier to fly direct to South Korea from Sydney, with Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner flights operating from 2 November 2022 three times per week, while Qantas will begin direct flights between Sydney and Seoul from 10 December 2022 with its A330 aircraft, marking the first Qantas scheduled service to Seoul since January 2008.

Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, said the new routes would help the tourism sector recover from COVID.

“Sydney is one of the world’s truly global cities and these new direct flights to India and Korea will make it easier for millions of people to come here,” he said.

“It’s clear that Australia is back on the map for international travellers. Demand for our international flights has rebounded since borders reopened, and that’s giving us the confidence to launch these new routes together with the marketing support from Destination New South Wales.

“The signing of the Australia-India free trade agreement is a driver of travel demand as trade and investment links expand between Australia and India’s population of more than one billion people.

“Our new direct flights to Bengaluru, combined with the planned codeshare with IndiGo, have the potential to reshape the way many people travel between Australia and India.

“South Korea is Australia’s fourth largest trading partner and Koreans see Sydney as one of the top tourism destinations. With expected strong business, premium leisure and low-cost travel demand on the route, we see an opportunity for both Qantas and Jetstar to fly on the route.”

Down in Melbourne, Jetstar’s first flights to Vietnam in more than two years took off this week (Apr 7), with the relaunch three weekly flights to Ho Chi Minh City with Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

An additional two weekly services from Sydney will start on Saturday 9 April and Jetstar Group CEO, Gareth Evans, said there’s been strong demand for travel to Vietnam, with the inaugural flight close to fully booked.

“Our services to Ho Chi Minh City are once again proving to be popular in both directions,” he said.

“Vietnam was one of the fastest growing holiday destinations in South-East Asia pre-pandemic, and we have seen strong bookings since Vietnam reopened its border.

“Thanks to the support of the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport, the additional flights will see more students travelling from Vietnam to complete their qualifications in Melbourne, as well as people travelling to the state to visit loved ones, with Melbourne being home to a large Vietnamese Australian population.

“This is the sixth international destination we have restarted since international borders re-opened and our crew are really enjoying helping travellers get back to their favourite international holiday destinations and reunite families with loves ones,” Evans said.

Back on India, Qantas will also continue to operate up to five flights a week between Melbourne and Delhi, making it the only airline offering direct flights between Australia and both northern and southern India.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management