Australian carrier Qantas on Friday, April 8 announced it will start flights on the Sydney-Bengaluru route from September 14 onwards and is finalising a codeshare partnership with Indian carrier IndiGo. In a codeshare partnership, each carrier on its distribution system can sell seats on other’s flights.
Currently, IndiGo has codeshare partnerships with Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways and American Airlines. The Sydney-Bengaluru flight will operate four times a week from September 14 onwards on an A330 aircraft, a joint statement by both the airlines stated.
“These are the first direct flights between Australia and southern India by any airline, cutting almost three hours off the current fastest trip between Bengaluru and Sydney,” it noted.
Currently, Qantas operates flights to India on only one route — between Melbourne and Delhi — five times per week. “Travellers are also set to benefit from improved one-stop access to Sydney from more than 50 Indian cities, as part of a proposed codeshare agreement between Qantas and IndiGo,” the statement noted.
Once finalised, customers will have more convenient access from not only the major Indian cities, but many popular regional cities such as Pune and Goa, it mentioned. The proposed codeshare agreement will enable seamless connections via Bengaluru, Delhi, or Singapore to Australia’s largest capital cities, it noted.
“As part of the proposed agreement, customers who join the Qantas Frequent Flyer program will be able to earn and redeem points on connecting IndiGo flights (QF code only) and IndiGo will recognise Qantas Frequent Flyer benefits for tiered members (Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One) including priority check-in, additional baggage allowance and priority baggage,” it said.
Qantas customers travelling on IndiGo will enjoy the same baggage allowance for the entire journey as well as complimentary food and drinks, it mentioned.
“The partnership will extend to Jetstar customers who will be able to book connecting flights on IndiGo services through its Jetstar Connect platform on jetstar.com, currently intended to start from late April,” it noted.
“We are pleased to announce our proposed codeshare partnership with Australia’s flag carrier, Qantas Airways under Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement. Once finalised, this new partnership will enable the Qantas customers to fly to more than 50 unique cities on IndiGo via Bengaluru, Delhi, and Singapore with the access of 41, 33, and 6 destinations per station respectively.”Ronojoy Dutta, CEO, IndiGo
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said demand for direct flights between Australia and India had grown steadily since both countries reopened their borders.
Qantas continues to offer a Fly Flexible booking policy with unlimited flight date changes available on flights booked before 30 June for travel until 31 December 2022 (fare difference may apply).
“For the first time, southern India will have a direct connection to Australia, which will make travel between the two countries more convenient and much faster for customers. The signing of the Australia-India free trade agreement will also drive travel demand as trade and investment links expand between Australia and India’s population of more than one billion people.”Alan Joyce, CEO, Qantas Group
Jetstar is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas. “IndiGo will introduce reciprocal benefits for its customers to connect on Qantas and Jetstar in the future. Sydney-Bengaluru flights go on sale today starting from INR 78,380 return,” it mentioned.
After the coronavirus-induced suspension of two years, India resumed regular international flights on March 27 this year.