Qantas is promising unlimited travel for some lucky families as it lines up an array of incentives to help encourage Australians to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Chief executive Alan Joyce also wants other companies to offer freebies to help get boost the national vaccination program.
Qantas will launch a vaccine incentive program in July, offering a host of deals – including unlimited travel for a year for some.
“We are looking at giving 1000-point flight vouchers, credits and we are going to offer 10 mega prizes, at least one for each state and territory, where a family of four get unlimited travel on the Qantas and Jetstar network, anywhere in the network for a year,” Mr Joyce told Nine’s Today on Monday.
Qantas is also working with hotel chain Accor Group, which will offer a million points and free accommodation to the winning families.
“It will be retrospective and will include anyone who has already been vaccinated and will apply to anybody that is vaccinated until the end of 2021,” Mr Joyce said.
The national carrier is expected to offer about 1000 Qantas points to people who get vaccinated, worth $20-$25.
Qantas customer officer Stephanie Tully flagged the program on Friday, saying the airline was still considering how the incentives would work.
“Qantas is a big supporter of Australia’s vaccine rollout because of what it means for public health, but also because it’s the key to keeping our domestic borders open and safely restarting international travel as well,” she said.
“As a large company that relies on travel to put our people and planes back to work, we’re obviously motivated to help with the national vaccine effort.”
Mr Joyce told Today that Qantas was pushing ahead with plans to resume international flights by the end of 2021, and was working with the federal government.
“We are still planning to be ready at the end of this calendar year. We are activating the aircraft, we are training our crew. The government has given us a support package to do that and have asked us to be ready,” he said.
“I’m hopeful by the time we get to July-August we will have some certainty on which markets will open and when they will open, so we can give certainty to our travelling public and to our people about when they are going to be back at work.”
Mr Joyce said the current Victorian lockdown would hit business, but demand remained strong elsewhere in Australia.
Victoria accounted for about 22 per cent of the airline’s domestic network, he said.
“We are waiting to see what the full impacts will be, dependent on how long the lockdown remains in place,” he said.
“But what we were seeing in the rest of the network is still huge demand.”
Victoria is almost halfway through a week-long lockdown to contain a virus outbreak that began in Melbourne’s north.
The lockdown is scheduled to end on Thursday night, although there are fears it could be extended if new coronavirus cases continue to be uncovered.
There were five more infections on Monday, including reports of at least one in an aged-care resident and a second aged-care worker. The outbreak has risen to 45 cases.
Mr Joyce said that before the current lockdown Qantas was aiming to return to more than 100 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity.
“I’m sure once the lockdown is over and things get back to normal in Victoria we will go back to that original plan,” he said.