BENGALURU: Australia’s national airline Qantas will fly non-stop from Bengaluru to Sydney beginning September 14. Four weekly return flights will be operated between Kempegowda International Airport and Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport.
An official release today said that ticket sales for the route began on Friday with the starting price at Rs 78,380 for a return ticket. This step marks the first direct flight between Australia and Southern India by any airline, cutting almost three hours off the current fastest trip between Bengaluru and Sydney. The wide-bodied Airbus A330 aircraft will be used.
Qantas is also finalising a codeshare partnership with IndiGo to make travel between India and Australia easier, the release said.
"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. 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 said.
The proposed codeshare agreement will enable seamless connections via Bengaluru, Delhi, or Singapore to Australia’s largest capital cities.
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.
On the codeshare partnership, Ronojoy Dutta, Chief Executive Officer, IndiGo, said, "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."
It will create opportunities for trade and tourism as both nations experience an influx of tourists again, he added.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said demand for direct flights between Australia and India had grown steadily since both countries reopened their borders.
Hari Marar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, of Bangalore International Airport Limited, said, “Australia is a very important market for South India and Bengaluru in particular, for corporates, students and leisure travellers.”
The newly announced non-stop Bengaluru-Sydney service will further strengthen the position of Bengaluru airport as the natural gateway for South and Central India, he added.
The national airline will continue to operate up to five flights a week between Melbourne and Delhi, making it the only airline offering direct flights between both northern and southern India and Australia.