Australian airline Qantas has given its frequent flyers an enticing way to use points they had saved up during the pandemic. As of today, Qantas has designated more than 100 flights between Australia and New Caledonia as Points Planes, with every seat bookable with frequent flyer points.
Time for a tropical vacation on the points
The Qantas Points Planes will operate routes between Brisbane and Sydney to Noumeathe capital of New Caledonia† Sitting in the Pacific Ocean about 3200 km east of AustraliaNew Caledonia is part of Overseas France, a collection of 13 French-administered territories outside of Europe.
Qantas operates from Sydney and Brisbane to Noumea with the Boeing B737-800, the mainstay of its domestic fleet. Photo: Qantas
With Australians in the depths of winter, a trip to a Pacific Island with frequent flyer points is an attractive proposition. Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said flights remain the favorite way for frequent flyers to use their points.
“We continue to see incredibly strong demand in domestic and international travel as frequent flyers use the Qantas points they have saved up during the pandemic to book reward seats in record numbers.”
Qantas used Boeing 737-800s on both routes and, subject to certain blackout periods, frequent flyers can use points on any flight in August, September, October and November. From Brisbane there is a weekly flight that departs from Brisbane Airport (BNE) on Saturday at 12 noon and arriving at Noumea La Tontouta International Airport (NOU) at 3 pm. On the return flight, flight QF90 departs at 4:05 PM and arrives in Brisbane at 5:25 PM. Frequency from Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD) is on QF91 four times a week, departing at 7:40 AM to arrive in Noumea at 11:30 AM, with the return flight departing NOU at 12:35 PM and landing in Sydney at 2:55 PM. On Points aircraft, any seat, including business classcan be booked with Qantas frequent flyer points or purchased in the usual way.
Aircalin is another way to go to the sun
Qantas also shares code with aircalin, New Caledonia’s airline, on seven additional flights per week, with more Classic Reward seats becoming available from Brisbane and Sydney. From Brisbane, Aircalin uses its Airbus A320-200neo, using it in conjunction with an Airbus A330-900neo on the Sydney flights. According to ch-aviation.comAircalin has a fleet of five aircraft, one of which is A320neotwo A330neos and two de Havilland DHC-6-300 aircraft. The airline has recently launched direct flights from Noumea to Singapore Changi Airport (SIN), using the A330neo. Aircalin also operates the A330neo to Tokyo Narita International Airport.
Aircalin uses the A320neo on flights to Brisbane and in combination with the A330neo on the Noumea-Sydney route. Photo: Airbus
For Brisbane to Noumea, Qantas frequent flyers need 12,000 points for a one-way economy seat and 27,600 points for business. The longer Sydney-Noumea flight will deduct 18,000 points in economy or 41,500 points (one way) in business from the traveler’s account. They are also required to pay approximately A$120 ($82) per booking for the usual taxes and fees. In addition to Points Planes, Qantas said millions of Classic Flight Reward seats will be available on Qantas’ domestic and international routes for the rest of the year, jetstar and partner airlines.
Designating flights as Points Planes isn’t new to Qantas, with frequent flyers taking advantage of previous flights to New Zealand, Rome, London, Los Angeles and domestically in Australia. The airline said it would add Points aircraft to South Korea and India in the coming months. Qantas has more than 13 million members in its frequent flyer program, while its main competitor Virgin Australia has about 10.8 million.
Do other airlines around the world offer similar Points Planes deals?
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