Flights are returning, airport lounges are reopeningand now free WiFi is coming back.
Qantas flicked the 'off' switch on its satellite Internet service in early April – alongside more conventional forms of inflight entertainment such as movies, TV shows and music – to reduce costs and conserve all-important cash as the airline dug in against the coronavirus crisis.
While the service was free to passengers, it certainly came at a cost to Qantas, with a standing per-aircraft price and a guaranteed minimum bandwidth for each flight.
And while Covid-19 is far from behind us, the restart of Qantas' domestic network as travel restrictions ease and the winter school holidays approach is seeing just a little of the pre-pandemic 'normal' fall into place.
Almost all of Qantas' 85-strong Boeing 737 fleet was running the fast and free Qantas WiFi service as of March.
Some of those workhorse jets are expected to be not only back in the air but on the air by Wednesday evening, with the remainder of the working Boeing 737 fleet online by Friday.
As Executive Traveller first reported yesterday, Qantas has now unlocked the doors and rolled out the welcome mat at a dozen of its 30-plus domestic lounges, including the Qantas Business Lounges at Sydney, Canberra and Perth – which will in the short term also be the go-to lounge for Qantas Club members and Gold-grade frequent flyers – with Melbourne and Brisbane slated to follow from July 10.
The larger Qantas Clubs will open later, based on demand, while the elite invitation-only Chairman's Lounges are scheduled to open in August.
However, there'll be strict capacity limits on the number of guests allowed in at any time, and visitors will see the self-serve buffets replaced by a tray-around service plus hosted 'snacking stations'.