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Qantas upgrading international routes

Qantas upgrading international routes

In an update to its international network, the flying kangaroo will introduce its B787 Dreamliner aircraft on the Sydney-Honolulu route for the first time. 

Replacing the current A330 used on the route, the upgauge will give passengers the broad choice of Economy, Premium Economy and Business cabins on the popular leisure route.

The announcement comes ahead of Qantas’ return to Shanghai this weekend after more than three years of ceased operations. 

Elsewhere, Qantas and Jetstar are preparing for several new and upgraded services over the next month as international demand continues to surge. Among these are: 

  • New routes from Brisbane including Qantas to Wellington and Honiara and Jetstar to Tokyo (Narita)
  • An increase between Sydney and New York (via Auckland) to four flights per week
  • An increase of Jetstar’s Brisbane-Auckland service to daily flights
  • An upgauge on QF’s Sydney-Bali flights, from a B737 to an A330
  • Increased frequencies on Melbourne-Hong Kong, Singapore, and Los Angeles route
  • Doubled frequencies to Tokyo, providing four daily Australia-Japan flights from November 26

Virgin Australia has launched an offer looking to attract Qantas Gold status (and higher) frequent flyers.

If you apply prior to 15 September, Virgin Australia's Velocity will match your Qantas FF status for 3 months. If you fly only once during that period, that status is extended for a further 12 months.

To apply, email with "Velocity Discover Gold trial offer" in the heading.

Perks of  Velocity Gold Status include complimentary Virgin Australia Lounge access, priority boarding, preferential seating, additional baggage allowances (not available when travelling on a Lite fare), and bonus Velocity Points and Status Credits when guests book and fly with Virgin Australia.

Gold Status with both of Australia's major carriers provides a lot of flexibility.  Qantas is a member of the OneWorld alliance and has a cooperative arrangement with Emirates Airlines.  Virgin isn't currently a member of any alliance, but has an eclectic collection of partners who are, so can readily find a partner to take you almost anywhere (with good perks).

Terms & Conditions apply...

Qantas/Emirates airlines collaberation authority extended for a further 5 years by regulator

Qantas/Emirates airlines collaberation authority extended for a further 5 years by regulator

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) this week re-authorised the collaboration between Qantas and Emirates Airlines.

In its determination, the ACCC said the conduct between the two parties has not materially changed since initial authorisation was granted in 2013 and that “The ACCC considers that the conduct would be likely to result in public benefits, in the form of: increased connectivity and convenience; facilitating capacity restoration and expansion; and, better frequent flyer program benefits. The ACCC also considers the conduct is likely to result in limited public benefits through stimulation of tourism and trade,” the determination reads. A little odd considering Qantas' lobbying against the granting of 3 additional slots to Qatar in mid-July resulted in the Federal Minister for Transport (with advice received from the ACCC) rejecting Qatar's application.. 

Qatar was looking to add 21 flights per week into hubs such as Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth from the Middle East. The Federal Government sought out the opinion of Qantas as part of Qatar Airways’ application process for bilateral air rights. Qantas opposed the bid on the grounds that it would cause Australian job losses, according to The Australian..  Qatar Airways’ application rejection came amid high international airfares, which some attribute to a lack of competition.

At the time of its submission, Qatar Airways’ CEO, was amongst those criticising Qantas’ influence here. He highlighted that his airline continued to operate flights throughout the pandemic, even when Qantas suspended all flights except government-subsidised repatriation flights and reduced its local labour force.

If true, then this latest decision will do nothing to increase competition on key Australian routes..  

There is a caveat to the approval, however. The ACCC said it is concerned that the coordination between the two carriers could harm competition in the market between Sydney and Christchurch, New Zealand, as Air New Zealand is the only other carrier operating the route. Because of this, Qantas and Emirates have been directed to “provide regular updates on passenger revenue and operating costs to enable us to monitor competition on this route over the next five years,” the ACCC said.

Qantas unlocks thousands of seats to book with Frequent Flyer points

Qantas unlocks thousands of seats to book with Frequent Flyer points

Following the recently announced "million seat sale", Qantas is now releasing a huge amount of Classic Rewards space.

Qantas award availability has been notoriously hard to find, but Qantas is working on changing that perception. The Australian airline has announced the release of thousands of Classic Flight Reward seats starting Friday, February 24, 2023, at 11:00 am. Sydney time and and will include space in economy, business, and first class.

The release timing translates to:

  • London 12:00 (midnight) Friday, February 24, 2023 — as Sydney is 11 hours ahead of GMT.
  • New York: Thursday, February 23, 2023, at 7:00 pm — as Sydney is 16 hours ahead of NYC.
  • Los Angeles: Thursday, February 23, 2023, at 4:00 pm — as Sydney is 19 hours ahead of LA.

According to the Qantas press release, the award availability will be across its entire international network featuring over 30 destinations. Also, Qantas is including all cabin classes in this award drop — including Classic Flight Rewards dropping in economy, business class, and first class.

Using Your Qantas Points

A quick glance at the Qantas Classic Flight Reward Chart makes it clear that longer awards in premium cabins are a little on the steep side. However, they are still a much better deal than the other, more expensive awards. Qantas prices its awards based on distance and which airline you are flying. 


Qantas Classic Rewards are the best way for Qantas members to maximize the value of their points. So, this is a great opportunity if you have some upcoming travel plans involving taking a Qantas flight. Remember that although Qantas is releasing all this award space, it is unclear if any of it will be making its way to Qantas’ Oneworld partners. So, if you see an award itinerary that works for you, you should strike while the iron is hot and have Qantas points at the you can quickly snap it up.

Qantas and Jetstar - New One Million (!) Seat Sale

Qantas and Jetstar - New One Million (!) Seat Sale

Qantas and Jetstar have launched a one million seat sale with one-way fares available from A$39 on Jetstar and A$99 on Qantas.

Business class fares are available from A$499 on Qantas.

Between Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar, the sales span more than 170 routes around Australia including capital cities and regional towns. Jetstar is also offering sale fares on more than 20 international routes, with fares starting from A$175 one-way.

“We’re seeing really strong demand as Australians continue to put travel at the top of their shopping list. We’ve been adding new routes to help meet that demand, especially to leisure destinations, and we’ve put a lot of sales into the market,” said Mr Joyce when launching this sale.

“This is the ninth network-wide sale from Qantas and Jetstar in the past six months and we have more planned,” added Mr Joyce.

This week, Qantas added tens of thousands of additional international reward seats – flights that can be booked for as few as 8,000 Qantas points – for its Frequent Flyers through December 31, 2023.

The airlines are encouraging customers with COVID credits – travel credit left over from the pandemic – to use them in booking their sale fares. COVID credits received during the pandemic expire at the end of 2023, with customers needing to book and travel before then. A dedicated hotline has been established to assist customers using their travel credit. Customers can call the Travel Credit Concierge Team on 1300 171 505 or visit the Travel Credits Hub online., the world’s only airline safety, and product rating website, has announced its Top Safest Airlines 2023 from the 385 different airlines it monitors.

The top 13 ranked airlines are the who’s who of airlines and, in order, are:

Qantas, Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Emirates, Alaska Airlines, EVA Air, Virgin Australia/Atlantic, Cathay Pacific Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, SAS.

According to Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas, these airlines are standouts in the industry and are at the forefront of safety, innovation, and launching of new aircraft.

In selecting Qantas as the world’s safest airline for 2023, editors noted that over its 100-year operational history the world’s oldest continuously operating airline has amassed an amazing record of firsts in operations and safety and is now accepted as the industry’s most experienced airline. 

According to Mr Thomas, the editors analyze: crashes over 5 years, serious incidents over two years, audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations; fleet age, expert analysis of pilot training, and COVID protocols in making their determinations.

“However all airlines have incidents every day, and many are aircraft or engine manufacture issues, not airline operational problems. It is the way the flight crew handles these incidents that determines a good airline from an unsafe one,” Mr Thomas said.

“Our top 20 safest airlines 2022 are always at the forefront of safety innovation, operational excellence..."

The AirlineRatings top 20 safest low-cost airlines for 2022 are, in alphabetical order; Air Arabia, AirAsia GroupAllegiant, Air Baltic, easyjet, FlyDubai, Frontier, Jetstar Group, Jetblue, Indigo, Ryanair, Scoot, Southwest, Spicejet, Spirit, Vueling, Vietjet, Volaris, Westjet, and Wizz.

To see AirlineRatings Country and Airline Safety Comparison tool...

Qantas FF can now use points on Bangkok Airways

Qantas FF can now use points on Bangkok Airways

Qantas Frequent Flyers can now book Classic Flight Reward seats to more than 20 destinations across Thailand and South East Asia as a new partnership with Bangkok Airways was launched today. The partnership expands on a codeshare agreement that was introduced in 2014 allowing Qantas customers to book commercial seats on Bangkok Airways flights.

Travellers can access Bangkok Airways flights from Australia via Bangkok, Phuket and Singapore. The Qantas Group operates more than 50 return flights each week between these cities and Australia.

Bangkok Airways is a full-service carrier, with regular flights each day out of its hub in Bangkok to some of Asia’s most popular destinations, including Koh Samui and Chiang Mai in Thailand and Siem Reap in Cambodia.

Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said Qantas Frequent Flyer was excited to welcome Bangkok Airways to the program. “Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for our frequent flyers and this partnership will make it easier for them to explore more of the region using their points...The option to book reward seats on Bangkok Airways’ expansive network across Thailand and South East Asia will also open up thousands of new redemption opportunities."

The Bangkok Airways partnership follows recent initiatives from Qantas Frequent Flyer to expand members’ opportunities to use their points on flights including 100,000 Classic Flight Reward seats between Australia and Japan, and the extension of its commitment for 50 per cent more reward seats until June 2023.

AirlineRatings Announces 2022 World's Best Airlines Awards

AirlineRatings Announces 2022 World's Best Airlines Awards

The world’s Best Airlines for 2022 have been named by, the world’s only safety, product, and COVID rating website, and the airline of the year is … Qatar Airways.

The Doha-based airline nudged out Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways and Korean Air for the top spot in Best Airlines for 2022 followed by Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Australia. Taiwan’s EVA was rated 8th followed by Turkish Airlines in the 9th spot. Turkish Airlines is also named the Best Airline in Europe. In 10th position is Japan’s All Nippon Airlines.

Qatar Airways also took out Best Business Class. “The airline’s Qsuite is a first-class experience in business class and our judges rated it as the best overall business-class product they had seen,” said Mr Geoff Thomas of

As well as taking out number 2 position in the Top Twenty Airlines rankings, Air New Zealand won Best Airline in the Pacific, Best Premium Economy, and Best Economy.  The airline has just unveiled a major make-over and new products that will be introduced in 2024, so it should continue to rank highly in years to come.

Singapore Airlines won the prestigious Best First Class award for its unique Suites product and also Best Lounges. The six Suites in this stylish cabin at the front of the upper deck of the airline’s flagship Airbus A380s are designed to be the equivalent of small hotel rooms.

Virgin Australia won Best Cabin Crew and Emirates was awarded Best Inflight Entertainment (yet again).

Excellence in Long Haul travel was awarded to: jetBlue (Americas), Turkish Airlines (Europe), Qatar Airways (Middle-East/Africa), Korean Air (Asia) and Air New Zealand (Pacific).

Best Low-Cost Airlines are: Southwest (Americas), easyjet (Europe), Jetstar (Asia/Pacific) and Fly Dubai (Middle-East).

Our congratulations to all the winners !

Qantas confirms ultra-long haul flights from 2025

Qantas confirms ultra-long haul flights from 2025

Qantas confirmed that an order for 12 new aircraft (Airbus) will enable it to operate the world's longest flights, linking Australia's east-coast cities to both London and New York commencing late-2025.

This means that any city in the world will be just one flight away from Australia.

The ageing domestic fleet of Boeing 737's will also be replaced by Airbus AA321XLR's and A220's from late 2023.

Qantas today announced that it is permanently cutting the points required when booking Qantas Hotels by 30% and for Qantas Holidays by 45%.

Both are significant reductions for Qantas Frequent Flyer members.

Further, to celebrate the announcement Qantas is also offering for a limited time, 20% off Points Plus Pay flights.

Get on board!

For further details...

Similar to the crossover program between Accor Live Limitless and Qantas Frequent Flyers, there is now a similar offer specifically for business owners.

Benefits include discounted flights and Qantas Club membership with Qantas and for Accor, discounted rooms, food & beverages at participating Accor properties in the APAC region.

Better yet, for a limited time there is a promotional offer where you can receive 5,000 bonus Qantas points when you join Accor Business Plus and Qantas Business Rewards. You can receive a further 5,000 Qantas points by making purchases.

You must purchase an Accor Business Plus between 17 January and 13 March 2022 to receive the bonus Qantas points. Other T&C's also apply.

This is a very attractive promotion if relevant to you. Like to learn more? 

Top 20 Safest Airlines for 2022

Top 20 Safest Airlines for 2022

Airline Ratings has announced its 2022 rankings of the Top 20 Safest Airlines, taken from the list of 385 different airlines it monitors.

Qantas lost its long-held spot at number 1. This year, the winner's prize travels across the Tasman sea to Air New Zealand

When announcing the results, Airline Ratings noted that “there is very little between the top 20, they are all standouts.”  So all of these 20 are excellent choices from a safety perspective.

Two of the ME3 were in the top 5 with Singapore Airlines and TAP.

Qantas dropped to 7th spot. The Virgin cousins ranked 10th.

The full list of rankings are:

  • Air New Zealand
  • Etihad Airways
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • SAS,
  • Qantas
  • Alaska Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • Virgin Australia/Atlantic
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Lufthansa/Swiss Group
  • Finnair
  • Air France/KLM Group
  • British Airways
  • Delta Air Lines
  • United Airlines; and
  • Emirates.
Congratulations (and thanks) to all these airlines for their ongoing commitment to safety !

Qantas Airbus A380's | early return to commercial service in January

Qantas Airbus A380's | early return to commercial service in January

Qantas’ flagship the Airbus A380 superjumbo will return to service in January, three months ahead of schedule and almost two years since last flying commercially.

The service provides the flexibility now needed to replace flying that was scheduled to be performed by the airline’s Boeing 787s.  About 70 Qantas 787 pilots are Queensland-based and are required to undertake 14 days isolation after each international service, reducing their availability to operate.

The Queensland Government has indicated it will relax restrictions on international travel when 90 percent of the state is double vaccinated, currently estimated to occur in late January, enabling 787 flying to normalize from then.

From January 11 the Sydney-Los Angeles service will be reduced from a daily 787 service to three weekly A380 services and one weekly 787 service.

The changes will commencing from January 11 will be

* Qantas Sydney-Los Angeles service will be reduced from a daily 787 service to three weekly A380 services and one weekly 787 service.

* Qantas Melbourne-London route will be reduced from daily 787 services to up to four weekly services

* Qantas Melbourne-Los Angeles service reduced from four weekly 787 services to three.

Additional A380 aircraft will progressively return to Australia in early 2022 for maintenance checks and crew training before being returned to service.

A great step forward - I much prefer the A380 for the long-haul flights needed to get almost anywhere from Australia.

Qantas to reward eco-friendly frequent flyers with new "Green" Status tier

Qantas to reward eco-friendly frequent flyers with new "Green" Status tier

Qantas has announced a suite of changes to its loyalty program to reward environmentally conscious flyers. .

"Qantas will be the first airline in the world to reward frequent flyers for being more sustainable in the air and on the ground," it said in a statement.

It has introduced a new "Green" status tier to sit alongside its elite status tiers of Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One. As with Qantas’ longstanding Fly Carbon Neutral program, money paid towards Qantas Green offsets will fund environmentally-friendly projects designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

"Members will need to complete at least five sustainable activities across six areas – flying, travel, lifestyle, sustainable purchases, reducing impact and giving back - each year to achieve Green tier status.”

Once achieved, members will be rewarded with benefits like bonus Qantas Points or status credits. These benefits will be in addition to the rewards they get under their existing flying tier status or as part of belonging to its (non-flying points earning) Points Club.

The initiative comes as the airline strives towards its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Other airlines which have made a net-zero 2050 commitment include Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, British Airways, Etihad Airways and Japan’s ANA.

As the world focuses on reducing emissions, this is a positive step. Every little bit helps

Qantas offering status ‘fast track’ | access OneWorld benefits

Qantas offering status ‘fast track’ | access OneWorld benefits

Qantas is once again running a status ‘fast track’ offer for elite tier members of 16 competitor airline loyalty programs. People who hold eligible loyalty status with a qualifying airline program are invited to switch to Qantas and get Qantas Gold status.

All you have to do is register for this promo by 30 November and earn 100 status credits between 1 December 2021 and 28 February 2022. This equates to (eg) 5 return economy trips between Sydney & Melbourne, but for more ideas you can use the Qantas points and status credits calculator.

During this period, Qantas will provide you with a ‘taste of Gold’ by way of complimentary Qantas Club access and extra checked baggage.

Note that:
registrations are only open to individuals with an Australian or New Zealand home postal address. You’ll need to provide evidence of your existing status with an eligible airline.

2)  Those wishing to transfer from a higher tier – Platinum and Platinum One equivalents – will only be able to transfer to Qantas’ Gold status, rather than have their status matched. Reaching a higher frequent flyer status with Qantas will require members to earn the normal status credits, so this is a “fast track” rather than a “status match” promotion.

Full Gold tier benefits with Qantas include:
*  lounge access across Qantas and oneworld airline lounges globally
*  preferential seating and priority access to reward seats
*  priority check-in, boarding and upgrade requests.

If you are an elite member with an airline in either the Star Alliance or SkyTeam alliances, this is an opportunity to gain access to lounges of OneStar alliance members.

For more information, visit

Accor & Qantas commence their dual earning alliance

Accor & Qantas commence their dual earning alliance

Today marked the launch of the "crossover" alliance between the Accor Live Limitless and Qantas Frequent Flyer programs. 

Under their agreement, you must be a member of both programs, then you can earn points under both programs:

1) from Qantas flights around the world if they hold at least either ALL Gold or QFF Platinum tier status;
2) from stays at Accor properties, regardless of tier status, but only for stays in the APAC region.

Learn more about the benefits for both ALL members & QFF members.

The 2021 Skytrax World Airline Awards winners were announced this week.  ....and the winner of the 2021 Airline of the Year goes to...Qatar Airways.
Singapore Airlines ranked 2nd, and ANA All Nippon Airways in 3rd place. Qantas was ranked 8th

Qatar Airways also received the awards for the World’s Best Business Class, the World’s Best Business Class Seat and the Best Airline in the Middle East.

Singapore Airlines, ranked No 2 worldwide, won the top accolade for the World’s Best Cabin Crew and was also honoured with awards for the World’s Best First Class, the Best Airline in Asia and the World’s Best First Class Seat.

ANA All Nippon Airways maintained its No 3 global ranking from last year and also won the World’s Best Airport Services award. Winning the 2021 award as the World’s Cleanest Airline is a particularly important success during the global pandemic.

Best First Class class was awarded to Singapore Airlines, with Lufthansa and Emirates second and third respectively.

The rankings for Best Business Class were identical to the overall rankings - Qatar, follwed by Singapore and then ANA.

Virgin Atlantic
was named the World's Best Premium Economy Class airline, ahead of Singapore Airlines in 2nd place and Lufthansa in 3rd position.

For more details, or to see how your favourites fared, click below.

Qantas announced plans on May 31st to giveaway a suite of mega prizes to Australians who get the COVID-19 vaccine, including unlimited travel for a year.  This is in addition to the announcement a week earlier that it would offer frequent flyer points along with travel vouchers and status credits to Australians who get inoculated.  It is understood the options being considered by Qantas include giving people who get both their two COVID-19 jabs up to 1000 frequent flyer points, flight vouchers towards domestic and international flights, and status credits, which allow people to move into high Frequent Flyer tiers.

Any reward would be available to people who had already received their jabs and the program would run until the end of 2021 when the vaccine rollout is due to be completed; the details are yet to be completed. Now, the national carrier has launched a further incentive scheme which it hopes will boost vaccination rates and help get state and international borders reopened permanently.

“We’re looking at having 10 mega-prizes, at least one for each state or territory, where a family of four can have unlimited free travel for a year on the Qantas and Jetstar networks,” CEO Alan Joyce revealed on Channel 7’s Sunrise program.

The trips would be in economy class and each of the ten winners.  “In addition to that, the Accor Group have come on board and they’re offering one million Accor Points, which gives free accommodation at 400 hotels and resorts across the country.”

Joyce said the program would launch in July, "will include anybody that has already been vaccinated (and) will apply to anybody that's vaccinated through to the end of 2021."

“We have a vested interest in this, we want to do everything we can to ensure the borders domestically open and stay open and that we get international up and running,” he explained.

The airline has consistently said that it will require all passengers to be vaccinated when it restarts international flights beyond New Zealand.

More Australians vaccinated means more potential travellers making bookings.

While the moves may not be entirely altruistic, I think both companies are to be commended for “putting their money where their mouth is” and not just relying on Government to provide support for the ailing sector.

It’s understood that vaccinated Australians will be able to claim their rewards and enter to win a mega-prize through the Qantas app from July.

Don’t be surprised to see if this coincides with the launch of the Qantas/Accor dual points earning (crossover) capability that was announced in November 2020 as part of a closer strategic relationship between the companies.  This too was scheduled to launch mid-2021 and will be the first partnership of its kind between an airline and hospitality group in the Asia Pacific region.

Qantas and Accor have announced a deeper partnership that will see mutual members of their loyalty programs being able to double-dip for rewards points in the APAC region. 

The newly minted crossover feature is scheduled to launch mid-2021.

While similar to other crossover programs (eg Marriott and both Emirates and United; Shangri-La and Singapore Airlines; Hyatt and American Airlines), it will be the first partnership of its kind between an airline and hospitality group in the Asia Pacific region.

Will it be an attractive feature?  Read on for our thoughts.

Congratulations to QANTAS.  Today is the centenary of its launch!

Originally the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service, it was born as an idea around Winton in Queensland and later moved to Longreach, although the company was originally registered in Brisbane.

It has grown and evolved to become Australia's iconic international airline, with its headquarters now located in Mascot, near Sydney Airport.

QANTAS is a member of the OneWorld alliance, which it co-founded in 1998 with American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines and Cathay Pacific.

Congratulations to the management and all staff of QANTAS.  To survive so long and be a leader in such a competitive industry is an achievement earned by many folk from the tarmac upwards.

Best wishes for many more and hopefully less tumultuous ones than 2020 which has been overshadowed by the covid-19 crisis and its impact on our world.

To learn more about Qantas' history, you can watch its official video.

Take care.