Imagine flying on a very lightly loaded long-haul widebody jet for 15 hours. All that space must be quite luxurious, especially in economy where you would have three seats to yourself. This is standard these days on Australia flights.
I have written before about how the Australian Government is restricting international arrivals. Flights are arriving with few passengers on board due to this, however it hasn’t really been quantified. Until now.
How Many People Are On Australia Flights?
Qatar Airways have helpfully written how the restrictions are affecting their Australia flights. Services from Doha to Sydney are restricted to between 28 and 40 passengers per flight. That’s not many on an Airbus A350-1000 that seats 327 people.
It’s the same story for people going to Perth. 30-35 passengers per flight. Brisbane is even lower, with a limit of 25 passengers per flight. The only saving grace here is that the Brisbane services currently continue on to Auckland, perhaps making the airline some more money.
Nobody is allowed into Melbourne at all, which makes sense as they recently had a massive spike in cases and many deaths. They had bigger problems to deal with really.
Adelaide is the other city Qatar Airways serve in Australia. Each flight allows in a generous 60 people, mainly because Adelaide has fewer international services, so there are more seats to go around under the allocation. The Airbus A350-900 seating 283 is still going to have a lot of seats empty.
Australia flights are probably losing money hand over fist right now for the airlines. While the belly space is likely filled with cargo, offsetting some of the costs, the reality is that flights are losing money.
With Australia’s Qantas not running any international services at all, it is great that a fellow oneworld partner has continued flying.
Qatar Airways is playing the long game here, continuing to serve their usual Australian gateways as well as Brisbane. Hopefully the Australian Government will allow them extra services under the bilateral eventually, so they can continue serving BNE.
What do you think of these caps on passenger numbers on the Australia flights? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Melbourne “recently had a massive spike in cases and many deaths.” What’s your source for that?
Is this a serious question?! Melbourne and the state of Victoria have been under severe restrictions for weeks, as they had an outbreak. It’s been all over the Australian press and the state has been essentially closed. Of the total deaths of 894 in Australia, 806 have been in Melbourne and the surrounding state of Victoria. Australia’s total cases is 27,149 with 20,220 of those coming from Victoria. I mean, this is why I thought you were joking with your question, as it’s common knowledge really. Hope that helps!
It’s all relative. The are some cities in other parts of the world currently seeing infection rates in a day what Melbourne has at the peak! So perhaps let’s use the adjectives like MASSIVE and MANY a little more judiciously.
Of course it’s all relative! I was specifically talking about Australia and flights to Australia in the article. Therefore, the use of the language is completely justified in the context of its usage.
Yes, it’s a serious question. I have seen nothing to support your statement that there has been a “massive spike in cases” and “many deaths … recently”. Active cases in Victoria have been declining (quite significantly) since 7 August. Victoria’s highest daily death count (59) occurred on 4 September but government authorities confirmed that 33 of those deaths actually occurred prior to 31 August. On only two days since then did the state record double-digit deaths (11 on both days). (“Melbourne” and the “state of Victoria” are also not the same.) I am not disputing that Melbourne and greater Victoria… Read more »
Sure, I take your point over the word “recently”. Perhaps I should have said “this year”. Either way, you’ve outlined it appropriately here for those who may not know the story, so thank you for that.
The Australian government has been notoriously unpleasant to Qatar for some years now. Given this shabby treatment, I confess to being surprised that Qatar is choosing to fly mostly empty planes to Australia in the hope that the government will do a complete reversal as a way of thanking them.
I imagine it is all down to a combination of Qantas lobbying as well as the Government’s experience with Emirates and Etihad arrived first. All QR really want is daily rights into Brisbane, which is the only city they did not service pre-pandemic. Any other increase would be a bonus, as I’m sure they’d like extra daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne too. We will see what happens!