The major airlines unveiled their “mega sale” on Thursday, the same day Qantas revealed a record $2.47bn full-year profit amid surging airfares.
Qantas has been hit with a class-action lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in refunds and compensation for customers. When COVID-19 hit, Qantas alone was forced to cancel some $2 billion in flights.
As part of a “mega sale” announced on Thursday, Qantas will be gifting more than a billion Qantas points to frequent flyers who have taken at least one Qantas flight in the past 12 months.
Some Jetstar fares will also be slashed by up to half, with the budget airline promising to deliver flights starting at as little as $29 one-way from Sydney to Launceston, for example.
The sale will offer more than one million seats across Qantas domestic, Qantas international, Jetstar and QantasLink regional flights, while Qantas fares will be up to 40 per cent off.
More than 90 destinations across the globe will be included in the sale, with return flights from Sydney to London starting at $1799.
Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said despite airfares costing more post-Covid, prices had dropped on average by 12 per cent over the past six months.
“(This comes) as more capacity (has) returned to the market, especially internationally, and we expect that downward pressure to continue,” he said in a statement.
“Our customers have shown a lot of patience and understanding as the industry has recovered.
“We’ve announced a points or status credits gift today, but we know the best way we can thank them is to consistently deliver the standards they rightly expect and reinvest our profits to keep improving their experience.”
Also on Thursday, Qantas revealed a record $2.47bn full-year underlying profit.
Australian international airfare prices have continued to climb even after major costs, such as jet fuel, have begun to fall from last year’s record-high prices.
The Transport Workers Union responded to the airline’s profit by calling for labour hire loopholes to be closed in the aviation industry.
“This obscene amount results from Qantas management exploiting labour hire loopholes, illegally sacking workers and price gouging, with sky-high airfares and rock-bottom standards,” the union said in a statement.
“Qantas should repay taxpayers, reinstate illegally sacked workers and return quality jobs and service standards to the once-trusted airline.”
Qantas Group also pledged on Thursday to upgrade “many aspects” of their service as well as invest more than $100m in the lounge network.
Vanessa Hudson is set to replace Mr Joyce as chief executive in November after his 15 years in the position.