You might be able to fly between Sydney and Melbourne for as little as $19 once restrictions are lifted, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says

A sight for sore eyes, Qantas could launch a slew of cheap domestic flights. (Photo by James D. Morgan, Getty Images)
  • Australians could pay as little as $19 to fly between Sydney and Melbourne with Qantas and Jetstar when the shutdown ends.
  • Speaking to media on Tuesday, CEO Alan Joyce suggested $39 and $19 fares could be on the cards.
  • “We’ll make sure we get as many people travelling as possible,” Joyce said.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told media on Tuesday his airline is considering offering dirt-cheap flights as it looks to restart its life after the current COVID-19 shutdown.

“The Qantas of 2021 and 2022 will not be the Qantas of 2019,” Joyce said after Qantas issued a market update. “We’re looking at the scope and scale of our businesses going forward.”

While it – and indeed all airlines – may look very different in the years ahead, Joyce said Qantas is preparing to capitalise on resurging demand as restrictions begin to be relaxed.

Specifically, he said Qantas and budget subsidiary Jetstar could look to offer flights for as low as $39 or even $19 apiece for Sydney-Melbourne flights.

“We’ll make sure we get as many people travelling as possible,” Joyce said.

It would be a hell of a haircut on pre-pandemic prices. According to official government statistics, Australians on average paid around $160 on that flight route. The new pricing suggested by Joyce then could prove to be a 90% discount.

With the federal government revealing a three-step plan to open up businesses by July, as well as a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand, Australia could be one of the first countries to begin travelling again – albeit close to home.

While acknowledging there will be significant pent up demand from those sick of being cooped up, Joyce’s comments emphasise the desire, and the need, of the airline to return to full capacity as quickly as it can. It is, after all, burning through $40 million of cash every single week right now.

Certainly, it’s a better position to be in than domestic rival Virgin Australia.

After collapsing into voluntary administration last month, Virgin and its Deloitte administrators are courting potential suitors to help bail the heavily indebted airline out of its current predicament.

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