The border to Western Australia has re-opened to all visitors quarantine free for the first time in almost two years, finally allowing Australians to get back to business in the West.
Following a false start last month, several of Qantas and Jetstar’s 31 flights to and from Perth today are already full, and the airlines are set to be carrying more than 23,000 passengers to and from Perth this week.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce welcomed the border reopening and said it is time for Australia to move forward with confidence as the world emerges from a COVID travel pause.
“Australia is now finally back together. This day has been a long time coming. It’s a terrific boost to West Australian tourism operators and businesses who will once again benefit from the influx of visitors from the east coast and beyond.
“We had to cancel thousands of flights when the border reopening was cancelled in February and tens of thousands of travellers had their plans ruined, but while the reopening has been complicated, it’s great that Aussies can now travel freely again.”
Qantas and Jetstar have added around 60 return interstate flights to their flight schedule each week in March – representing around 40 per cent of the Group’s pre-COVID capacity. This is scheduled to ramp up again in April, particularly around the school holiday period as travel demand recovers.
Flights have been added from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Gold Coast, Canberra, Hobart and Darwin.
During COVID lockdown periods Qantas was flying as few as three return interstate flights a week into Perth.
Qantas Frequent Flyer put on two Points Planes between Sydney and Perth for the first day of the WA border reopening, which meant Qantas Points, in addition to cash, could be used to buy every seat on the plane.
Photo: Nathan Hurst / Unsplash