Airport chaos as Qantas sees international demand rebound

Qantas and Jetstar are set to reach 40 per cent of their combined pre-Covid international capacity in April as more countries drop their border restrictions.

New Zealand opens its borders to Australian travellers next week with the carrier expecting to see a further surge in demand.

Qantas currently flies to London, Rome, LA, Singapore, Nadi, Vancouver, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Dallas Fort Worth, Auckland, Honolulu, Manila and Dili. Jetstar currently flies to Bali and Phuket.

Domestic travel is also surging past pre-pandemic levels with Easter demand expected to reach 110 per cent compared with the same time in 2019.

The fast rebound in air travel is not without its challenges though, with Sydney Airport seeing huge crowds last week. Social media has been awash of photos showing lines of travellers queuing out of the domestic terminal into the road.

Sydney Airport chief executive Geoff Culbert put the chaos down to a “perfect storm” of inexperienced travellers and staff shortages due to isolation rules.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce also said a number of factors played into delays including new security protocols and new staff.

“Everyone is doing their best including passengers, who are showing incredible patience in these queues,” he said.

“It’s something we’re all working hard to get through.”

Joyce advised people to arrive two hours before departure.