Aussie national airline expands Sydney gateway to India

SYDNEY, April 8 (Xinhua) — Australia’s national airline, Qantas, announced on Friday new flight routes between Sydney and Bangalore in southern India, in its latest bid to reinvigorate Australia’s post-COVID tourism industry.

Qantas will operate four weekly non-stop return flights from Sept. 14 between Australia’s biggest city and India’s fast-growing tech and financial hub, Bangalore.

The new connection is part of what Qantas has dubbed its “international restart”, since Australia reopened its international borders in February.

The airline estimated that it has reached nearly 40 percent of its pre-pandemic capacity as of April as it continues to expand its reach.

The new partnership announced is planned to include a codeshare agreement with Indian airline IndiGo, meaning both the airlines will sell tickets for each other’s flights.

The partnership came off the back of an Australia-India free trade agreement signed last week.

“The signing of the Australia-India free trade agreement is a driver of travel demand as trade and investment links expand between Australia and India’s population of more than 1 billion people,” said Qantas Airways CEO Alan Joyce.

The airline also announced on Friday that it will launch direct flights to South Korean Capital Seoul later this year, with offering discount tickets through its economic subsidiary, Jetstar at under 400 Australian dollars (300 US dollars).

“South Korea is Australia’s fourth largest trading partner and Koreans see Sydney as one of the top tourism destinations … we see an opportunity for both Qantas and Jetstar to fly on the route,” said Joyce.

He said these new direct flights to India and South Korea will make it easier for millions of people to come to Sydney.

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