Qantas: flights to Tokyo, Chile resume “in the next few months”

The airline continues to rebuild its network, but there’s a bumpy flight path ahead…

By Bloomberg News, July 18 2022
Qantas: flights to Tokyo, Chile resume “in the next few months”

Qantas says it will restart flights to Tokyo and Santiago in the coming months, alongside already-announced flights to Seoul and Bangalore, but admits there will more bumps to come following the travel chaos of recent months.

Passengers angered by delays and cancelations as Qantas navigates staff sickness and a tight labor market have lashed out at the airline and group CEO  Alan Joyce, with social media amplifying their woes.

The carrier had Australia’s worst domestic flight-cancellation record in May, scrapping 7.6% of its services, or one in 13. 

“The truth is that the difficulties we are facing now are because of Covid and flu related sickness, as well as an extremely tight labor market,” Qantas Domestic and International CEO, Andrew David said Sunday in a statement.

With Australia forecast to experience rising Coronavirus and winter flu cases in the coming weeks “there will be a few more bumps along the way,” David said, “but over the weeks and months ahead flying will get back to being as smooth as it used to be.”

Qantas has recruited more than 1,000 people, put more staff on stand-by and consolidated flights onto larger aircraft under measures aimed at minimizing disruptions, David said in the statement.

But he admitted the airline is “absolutely not delivering the service that our customers expect.”

David cited the popularity of the airline’s new seasonal flights to Rome – which will return in 2023 – as a positive sign, adding “in the next few months we will return to Tokyo and Santiago, and soon we’ll start flying to Incheon and Bangalore.”

Additional reporting by David Flynn

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