Qantas is rolling out the big guns to cater for an increase in domestic flying, with the twin-aisle Airbus A330s returning to some of the country's busiest routes.
This will include the new getaway hotspot of Cairns, where an Airbus A330-300 – the same type of jet previously flown to busy Asian cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok – will be rostered onto Sydney-Cairns and Melbourne-Cairns flights for the Easter holidays.
With 297 seats, the Qantas A330-300s boast 70% greater capacity over the single-aisle Boeing 737 – including more than twice as many business class seats, which means more premium pews for not only paying passengers but those using Qantas Points to book their far north Queensland escape.
The slightly smaller 271-seat Airbus A330-200s also make appearances on the east coast inter-capital corridors of Sydney-Melbourne and Melbourne-Brisbane, alongside transcontinental routes from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Perth and back.
Savvy travellers know to watch for the A330 on Qantas' timetable, especially if they're in business class, where the jet's international-grade Business Suite offers a high degree of personal space and a wide, comfortable seat which converts all the way to a lie-flat bed, or can be set halfway at a seriously relaxing recline.
This also lets Qantas press its advantage over Virgin Australia – especially on the east-west routes – following Virgin's decision to axe its own Airbus A330s and become a Boeing 737-only airline.
As previously reported, Qantas' low-cost ar Jetstar is also considering bringing its international Boeing 787s onto domestic routes.
“We could look at getting some Boeing 787s flying domestically earlier” than when international borders reopen, Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans noted at last week's CAPA Live summit, “particularly if domestic borders stay open.”
“If we do see (domestic) borders remaining open through the middle of the year, it’d be great to have a couple of 787s up domestically … especially if we need some more domestic lift around the peak periods.”
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