Qantas fast-tracks flights to Singapore, Fiji, Bangkok, Jo’burg

As Australia's international travel ban is lifted, strong demand will see several Qantas flights brought forward.

By David Flynn, October 22 2021
Qantas fast-tracks flights to Singapore, Fiji, Bangkok, Jo’burg

Qantas will bring forward the return of many popular overseas routes from Sydney as demand surges following the removal of quarantine and Australia's international travel ban from November 1.

Flights from Sydney to Fiji, Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket and Johannesburg will all resume ahead of schedule.

"We know that Australians are keen to get overseas and see friends and family or have a long awaited holiday, so bringing forward the restart of flights to these popular international destinations will give customers even more options to travel this summer," says Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

"The decision by the NSW Government to join many cities from around the world by removing quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers means we're able to add these flights from Sydney much earlier than we would have otherwise."

Joyce says that in recent weeks, ticket sales for international flights to and from Sydney have outstripped sales on domestic flights, "which shows how important certainty is to people when making travel plans."

Here's the latest Qantas schedule, effective as of October 22 2021.

Sydney to Singapore: Qantas flights will resume on 23 November 2021, four weeks earlier than scheduled, operating three days per week with A330 aircraft; those flights will ramp up to daily from 18 December 2021, while Jetstar will fly from Melbourne and Darwin to Singapore from 16 December 2021.

Sydney to Fiji: Qantas flights shift forward to 7 December 2021 (they were previously 19 December), with four Boeing 737 flights a week; Jetstar's flights to Fiji will resume on 17 December 2021.

Sydney to Bangkok: Qantas today says its flights will resume on 14 January 2022, more than two months earlier than scheduled, with five Airbus A330 flights per week.

However, as we reported earlier this morning, Thailand will open to fully-vaccinated Australians without the need to quarantine from November 1, so this could spark an even earlier departure for QF23.

(Jetstar also says it'll restart three weekly Sydney-Phuket Boeing 787 flights on 12 January 2022.)

Sydney to Johannesburg: there's a massive leap here, with Qantas advancing its previously planned late March 2022 return for QF63 for a January 5 restart, with three Boeing 787 flights per week on the 14-hour trek.

At the time of writing, flights to several other Asian destinations remain lined up on the runway from Sunday March 27:

  • Sydney-Bali/Denpasar QF43 is slated to run daily from March 27, with Melbourne-Bali/Denpasar QF45 daily from March 28; both flights will be handled by a Boeing 737
  • Sydney-Jakarta QF41 resumes March 27 with an Airbus A330 showing six days a week
  • Sydney-Manila QF19 is another daily Airbus A330 flying from March 27

Qantas is also opening a new route between Sydney and Delhi from December 6, with an initial three flight per week "building to daily flights by end of the year."

"While these flights will initially be for Australians and their families, we expect tourists from Singapore, South Africa and India to take advantage of these flights once borders reopen to international visitors, which is great news for the industry," Joyce remarked.

As reported earlier today, Qantas will also bring forward the return of the Airbus A380 onto the Sydney-Los Angeles route to April 2022. 

Also read: Qantas to bring back the A380s even earlier – now April 2022

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

There seems to have been radio silence on when flights to SCL will restart. 

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 360

There's quite a few still 'missing in action' including HCMC in Vietnam and also the LAX-JFK leg of the Boeing 787, am sure those will all eventuate at some point.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 496

Qantas has never flown to Saigon. Jetstar I think has, but it's a minor market.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1393

Its interesting that Indonesia's Covid infections are falling dramatically despite still having low vaccination.

Japan has also fallen significantly having peaked around the Olympics.

01 Aug 2020

Total posts 9

Indeed... i arrived here late august and in the past month Tokyo has gone from ~3000 a day to 248 announced for yesterday.

Life is getting closer to back to normal here, despite mask wearing. Many people working in the office.

It was a pretty good home quarantine experience, using technology, similar to what Aus is thinking...

30 Sep 2021

Total posts 1

People maybe wondering but i am here currently in Indonesia and my sister is a nurse, it is true the number of covid case has been gone down since last month. Plus dont worry Bali is the main priority to have vaccination and it has reached up to 70% vaccinated.

Pandemic has been hit Balis economy since 2019, with reopening Bali in the near future will help Bali economy back, lets be positive thinking.

Cheers mate! 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 496

The pandemic couldn't possibly have hit Bali in 2019 when news of this "pandemic" was only announced on New Year's Day, 2020.

Imagine getting excited over something half a year away. How times have changed.

As a fully vaccinated QLDer, I’m still going to be very cautious about travelling overseas, as my Premier and CHO are very impulsive at times. Plus the travel insurance. 

QLD & WA did the best with dealing with COVID, but will likely be the last states to get international flights from Qantas.

28 Sep 2021

Total posts 2

Any indications when flights to Santiago SCL may be reinstated. Or will Latam restart its daily flights to Sydney or Melbourne

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2568

FYI: readers are asked to refrain from commenting on the state of Covid-19, vaccination, case rates etc in any of the countries cited in this article. The last thing we want to see is another comments section which veers into ongoing discussions of Covid with the usual back-and-forth. For that reason, comment moderation is being activated for this article: comments will be held for checking before they are published, and may be edited before publication or not published at all.

So much for all that chatter on Taiwan and South Korea.

Instead it's Jakarta and Manila.

Downgrade.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 360

I don't see any of this as meaning Qantas won't launch flights to Taiwan or Seoul, it will just come down to demand and availability of jets, probably the A330. But if Australia decides to basically allow travel to almost anywhere and simplified home quarantine on return, rather than travel bubbles and traffic light systems and so on, then that might mean that new destinations like Taiwan and Seoul would make less sense for Qantas.

C44
C44

15 Sep 2021

Total posts 4

The flying kangaroo is always cautious preferring to stick with what it's comfortable with, rather than look at routes that are new and would potentially be more lucrative.

Still a long way to the end of March next year, maybe they have a surprise or 2 up their sleeves!

20 Jan 2017

Total posts 46

With any luck they'll bring back the A330 on SYD-DPS route 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Feb 2018

Total posts 1

Absolutely. The 737 business class product isn't worth half of what they're charging for it

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 105

Wonderful news; any flights beyond our international borders would be welcomed and are worth waiting for . After all what is 6 months after biding our time for the last 24 months?

28 Sep 2021

Total posts 1

The Australian government can't hold off much longer re international travel.....especially leading up to a federal election...

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 378

although none of these places are my cup of tea for a holiday anything has to be better than another year of holiday here this year.last year I did within a week of each other a Port Lincoln and Brisbane trip $2,610 combined.that kind of money based on peak time deals normally would get me Singapore or Hong Kong with a hotel,some sightseeing,insurance and flights.ONE THING I would love to see return is the Beijing services.Granted the timings of the flights was not always the best but it was one of those flights that didn't require one to transfer in an asian hub if they did not want to fly air china.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 187

We all want everything to return to normal as quickly as possible (well most people on this forum do!). I just want to see the first international Qantas flight, then let it build. There will be many who will pick over the start of international travel desperately hoping their views will be proved correct and it has to stop again. Let's hope Qantas and the federal government hold firm on their promises and see out any bumps after 'take-off'. 

QFF

16 May 2016

Total posts 69

Crazy to buy an international ticket anywhere any time. The airlines CURRENTLY operating into Australia still haven't been advised how many inbound passengers they can carry for Nov/Dec and it's almost October! Any airline selling inbound seats is selling false hope. To be doing so at the moment, without any pax number advice from government, is a disgrace. 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1409

TZB the government has announced unlimited for Australians, residents and family inbound. For the rest it is very restricted.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jan 2016

Total posts 6

I am booked to Shanghai in May - not holding my breath! :)

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 496

China isn't likely to reopen in any meaningful way until July, 2022. Qantas has not mentioned the restart of flights to China, other than Hong Kong. Pre-Covid only one route was served (SYD-Shanghai). I think if there is a way of getting into China in May, it may have to involve spending some time in Hong Kong first. Just my hunch.

Yes, China wants to get travel between the mainland and HK opened up first, which is why HK has the same 'COVID zero' approach. I don't think HK will even be open to China in time for the Winter Olympics because of the risk that a random 'imported' infection could spread, so I think HK won't open to China until after the Olympics, second half of the year, and maybe it will be closed to the rest of the world until the end of 2022 or early 2023?

18 Sep 2015

Total posts 105

If Qantas is going to run narrowbodies on night time regional flights then it's past time they acquired some suitable lie flat seats!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jan 2017

Total posts 15

Sadly for me, two of the Asia flights (JKT and BKK) start a week after when I need to be in those cities!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 496

Reschedule your movements then. 1 week isn't going to make any difference and you're lucky that by that time you'll even be allowed to travel.

21 Aug 2019

Total posts 64

That would be great flying the 787/9 to South Africa. The old 747 or the 330 on SAA were very long in the tooth 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Mar 2019

Total posts 20

Where will Qantas source their pilots to bring back these routes before the end of the year? 1000 pilots who haven’t flown since the pandemic will need 90 days of training and checking to be ready to fly again. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 685

@AntonyJ - Qantas has a reasonably sized pool of qualified B787-9 pilots who can operate the SYD-DRW-LHR service for the next few months. There's also the backup group that has been doing the repatriation flights. On top of that, there is a pool of currently certified A330 pilots. There also should be a small cahoot of B787-8 Jetstar pilots, who may be rated.

Thinking about what has been announced today and in the next few days, QF has not really advised too much in terms of capacity. Think of the following routes:

  • East Coast Australia - New Zealand
  • Sydney / Melbourne - Fiji
  • Sydney / Melbourne / Darwin - Bali

can all be operated with B737-800's for the next few months. In fact, the B737 pool of pilots is also bolstered somewhat by having domestically crewed (and current) staff which will allow more flexible scheduling. Really, the only 'long-haul' additions announced today are the resumption of the Johannesburg service and the Bangkok service, both of which are 10+ hours routes. It would be a safe bet that the BKK services will be A330 services and at this stage, we don't know what is being formally chosen for JNB but probably B787).

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1409

Antony the A330s as well have been fairly busy carrying cargo around and I suspect they roster the pilots so quite a few are kept flying.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 251

Is that correct there is only flights on three days per week to Singapore?


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas fast-tracks flights to Singapore, Fiji, Bangkok, Jo’burg