Australia Half-price flights on offer as Government asks Australians to holiday for cheap at home

07:26  11 march  2021
07:26  11 march  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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  Jetstar announces return for free sale Holidaymakers can get their hands on the insanely cheap flights from Friday, with travel dates from April to December available. The sale, which ends at 11.59pm on Sunday March 7 unless sold out, comes as domestic borders across the country are eased following Covid-19 outbreaks.

Australians will be able to buy half - price flights to a dozen domestic holiday spots under a new scheme to boost tourism, the government has said. The list of subsidised destinations includes the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays, Alice Springs and Broome. The government said the A.2bn (£670m; 0m) scheme aims to revive the local tourism sector amid the pandemic. That industry has been hardest hit by border closures and travel restrictions since early last year. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the package of 800,000 cheaper airfares - to be offered between April and July - would

There are expected to be about 46,000 half - price tickets available per week, up to a total of 800,000 cheap airfares. How do I buy a discounted fight? Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar are expected to be the main airlines operating the routes but smaller carriers are also expected to get involved. To qualify for the discount, the carrier must have already flown that route in the previous two years. Discounted flight routes. The government warns these may change depending on airline negotiations and demand

a person standing in front of a plane: The government wants Australians to take flights to regional areas and spend money. (AAP: Mal Fairclough) © Provided by ABC Business The government wants Australians to take flights to regional areas and spend money. (AAP: Mal Fairclough)

The federal government will halve the price of nearly 800,000 airline tickets as part of a $1.2 billion package aimed at getting more Australians to spend big on domestic holidays.

The move is designed to prop up ailing parts of the tourism and aviation sectors, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and which fear the end of the JobKeeper program later this month.

Between April and July, a 50 per cent discount on tickets will be offered for flights to and from 13 regions that normally rely heavily on international visitors.

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Government officials have also advocated for a ‘hotspot’ approach, where destinations outside of hotspots can open to one another. For example, countries with low numbers of cases may have quarantine-free travel between them. Travel to and from countries with a medium level of cases may require quarantine or self-isolation, while travel to countries with high cases may be banned altogether. Non-essential travel isn’t outlined by the government as being necessary. To be able to travel overseas you must meet one of the following requirements, and provide evidence of your claims

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The destinations are the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays region, the Sunshine Coast, the Lasseter region which includes Uluru, Alice Springs, Launceston, Devonport, Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula and Kangaroo Island.

Routes and the precise number of tickets will be driven by demand and are still being discussed with airlines, but it is estimated an average of 46,000 half-price fares will be offered each week mostly with Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar.

They will be available for sale on airline websites from April 1.

Senior government ministers hope this new package will encourage cashed-up Australians, who normally travel to Bali or Europe during Autumn and Winter, to instead spend their money at home.

They say a flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast could be as cheap as $60 and boost traffic on the route by as much as 40 per cent.

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Australians keen to head on holiday as soon as lockdown is lifted must act quick to book cheap flights before fares skyrocket, experts say. With travel restrictions likely to last until early 2021, many families keen for a For example if an airline can only fill half its seats, it must charge double the usual price to maintain its profits. There are currently many cheap airfares available, but booking them before the lockdown ends comes with the risk that you may be unable to fly. If the flight is still running, but you are unable to travel due to government restrictions, you will not be eligible for a refund.

Flight prices almost never drop as time gets closer. You have to understand how ticket prices are computed nowadays. Last minute fliers are generally more likely to be business travelers or they have emergencies that they are willing to pay more. What airlines do is get into contact with these people and ask them if they want to take the earlier flight . What this allows if the traveller says yes is for that travellers seat to be free on their original flight which intern gives the airline longer to sell the seat that they would have missed out on getting revenue from.

"This package will take more tourists to our hotels and cafes, taking tours and exploring our backyard," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

"Our tourism businesses don't want to rely on government support forever.

"They want their tourists back."


Many of the initial destinations included in the program are in marginal or winnable electorates for the government.

However, it insists the program is targeted at locations that still have the highest dependence on JobKeeper, international tourists and domestic flights.

More locations and routes may also be included later in the year, depending on demand.

Special loans and industry assistance

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the package was about more than just encouraging Australians to travel domestically.

"We're also backing the workforces of our international airlines and the teams and infrastructure they need," he said.

Tasmania's north and north-west to benefit from subsidised flights

  Tasmania's north and north-west to benefit from subsidised flights A federal government plan will halve the price of flights to and from Tasmania's north and north-west, leaving southern tourism operators feeling left-out.Under the Government's newly-announced $1.2 billion package to help the struggling aviation and tourism industries, flights to and from Burnie, Devonport and Launceston airports between April 1 and July 31 will be half-price.

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"So that when tourism takes off again and our borders reopen, our airlines are ready to go."

The Government will provide support to Qantas and Virgin to keep 8,600 international flight workers employed and planes in a condition to resume service when borders reopen.

Private equity firm Bain Capital bought Virgin for $3.5 billion in November.

Training and accreditation for ground crew will also be subsidised until the end of September.

Existing support, like waivers for airport security charges, relief from Airservices Australia fees, subsidies for regional routes and international freight assistance have also been extended to September.

Zoos and aquariums will also have their financial support extended for another six months, while struggling small and medium businesses will also be eligible for loans worth up to $5 million over a 10-year period.

In recent days, the Labor Opposition has ramped up its calls for the Government to extend the JobKeeper program to specific industries, like tourism and aviation, warning of the potential for widespread job losses.

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On Wednesday, Tourism spokesman Don Farrell said: "The Morrison Government is asking cash-strapped families to spend their money on saving Australia's tourism industry when it isn't prepared to do the same thing itself.

"With only 18 days until JobKeeper ends, businesses are making decisions about their future now.

"While an announcement might be on the horizon, support is long overdue and will be too late for many."

The government warns the success of the domestic travel scheme could depend heavily on whether premiers will vow to keep their borders open, giving travellers confidence they can get to and from their destinations.

Tourism Minister Dan Tehan spoke with his state and territory colleagues on Tuesday, urging them to do what they can to avoid lockdowns or travel restrictions.

"We want to see that only as a last result," Mr Tehan said.

"As the vaccine is increasingly rolled out we want people travelling, we want people spending."

Political outlook for locations chosen

LocationMain electorateStatus
The Gold CoastMoncrieffLiberal (safe)
CairnsLeichhardtLiberal (marginal)
The Whitsundays and Mackay regionDawsonNationals (safe)
The Sunshine Coast4 electoratesAll Coalition, most safe
LasseterLingiariLabor (marginal)
Alice SpringsLingiariLabor (marginal)
LauncestonBassLiberal (marginal)
DevonportBraddonLiberal (marginal)
BurnieBraddonLiberal (marginal)
BroomeDurackLiberal (safe)
AvalonCorioLabor (safe)
MerimbulaEden-MonaroLabor (marginal)
Kangaroo IslandMayoOther (marginal)

Notes: "Marginal" reflects seats within a swing of 6 per cent

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This is interesting!