Qantas is set to add up to one million extra seats to international services with the major airline saying all operations will be back to pre-pandemic levels by next year.
The Flying Kangaroo is set to add more flights to key destinations across Asia, the Pacific and the United States in response to ongoing high demand for travel, with added seats set to help bring price pressures down for international travel.
International capacity in and out of Australia still remains heavily constrained due to a reduction of carriers coming to the country.
Two additional Boeing A330 aircraft have also been leased from OneWorld partner Finnair, which will be used on two international routes to Singapore and Bangkok.
While the ramp up of its network is primarily occurring on the east coast of the country, WA travellers heading to destinations like Tokyo, Los Angeles or New Zealand will have expanded choice when booking flights.
Outgoing Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the rebound for international travel was “incredibly strong” and the airline needed to prioritise more services before the Australian summer holidays hit.
“While airlines globally are working to restore capacity to meet demand, there is still a mismatch between supply and demand for international flying,” he said on Friday.
“But with more of our aircraft back in the air, new 787s joining our fleet and our contract with Finnair, we’ve got more seats for our customers and more opportunity for Qantas crew as we increase our own flying.
“We know our customers are looking for great value and this additional capacity will also put downward pressure on fares.”
Flights to Japan will double with the airline set to operate four daily flights to Tokyo out of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
Melbourne-Los Angeles services will move to nine flights a week, which increases capacity by around 60 per cent.
Sydney to New York via Auckland will move up from three to four per week.
Other Asian routes include the restart of Sydney — Shanghai and more services to Hong Kong, Singapore and Delhi.
Brisbane will also see a new daily flight to Wellington and a three per week service to the Solomon Islands.
New Zealand services ex Sydney will also be increased.
The airline is also seeking an additional 300 pilots and cabin crew to assist in the extra flying and builds on 2400 which have already been recruited since borders reopened.
Qantas also updated its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner had arrived and another two would be delivered next months.
It is understood these aircraft will be used to operate the airline’s upcoming Perth-Rome service, set to start later this year.
Another A380 stored in the desert has also been reactivated and will return to service at the end of the year.
“Qantas has been the most on-time major domestic airline for the past eight months in a row and that improved performance means we can release some of the aircraft we’ve had in reserve,” Mr Joyce said.
“That reflects more parts of the aviation supply chain returning to normal and it’s a huge credit to the hard work of our people across the group.”
Changes to the schedule will start from October onwards.