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$19 Sydney to Melbourne: Qantas mulls bargain tickets

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: A Qantas Boeing 737-800 aircraft lands at Sydney Airport on April 17, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. The federal government on Thursday announced a $165 million package to assist Qantas and Virgin Australia continue to offer domestic flights to maintain connections with capital cities. Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday flagged that current restrictions in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 could be lifted in four weeks, should Australia's infection rate continue to flatten. Currently, all non-essential business are closed and strict social distancing rules are in place, while public gatherings are limited to two people. New South Wales and Victoria have enacted additional lockdown measures to allow police the power to fine people who breach the two-person outdoor gathering limit or leave their homes without a reasonable excuse. Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have all closed their borders to non-essential travellers and international arrivals into Australia are being sent to mandatory quarantine in hotels for 14 days. (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)
Qantas may be operating significantly cheaper flights in the future. Image: Getty

Flights from Melbourne to Sydney could be as cheap as $19 on the other side of the coronavirus crisis, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has said.

Speaking during the company’s third quarter trading update, Joyce said Qantas is in a good position to ride out the crisis and that “life on the other side” could include massively discounted flight prices.

“Airfares could be half of what they are today,” he said.

“For example on Melbourne-Sydney you could see Jetstar fares of $39, you could see $19 airfares and we will still cover our cash costs.”

He also said the company has enough strength to survive without flying until December 2021.

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“There’s a reason why Qantas is the longest continuous operating airline in the world. It’s very competitive and it has the DNA to adapt to the market and the environment.”

However, he said the market won’t return to former demand levels as broader consumer confidence and spending is expected to remain subdued beyond the crisis.

“We need to think about what the business needs to look like to exceed in the world – our fleet, our network and our structure – like most companies we will have to be different.”

The company today announced staff across Qantas and Jetstar will remain stood down until the end of June, while international flights will not resume before August at the very earliest.

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