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How To Get Your Hands On Those Half-Price Domestic Flights The Government Is Slinging

How To Get Your Hands On Those Half-Price Domestic Flights The Government Is Slinging

Man standing in Moran Falls at dusk looking out to view

In a bid to support regions that usually rely on international tourism, the federal government has announced a package that slashes the cost of airfares, offering half-price flights to Aussie holiday destinations.

So far, 2021 has been a bonza year for cheap airfares and today, PM Scott Morrison announced the latest news – a government-led scheme offering half-price flights to support 13 tourist regions struggling due to the lack of international tourism.

The federal subsidy will apply to travel between April and July as part of a $1.2 billion package that answers months of industry calls for support. The timing is strategic; with JobKeeper ending in March, the hard-hit tourism sector needs a revival.

Where you can fly and how to book

The 800,000 cheap flights will be available from April 1 to July 31 across 13 designated regions: the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island), the Sunshine Coast, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula, Kangaroo Island and Lasseter and Alice Springs.

The government counts a return ticket as two discounted fares and it’s anticipated that there will be about 46,000 offered in weekly batches from April 1.

You’ll make your flight booking as usual, via the QantasVirgin and Jetstar websites, but be sure to a keep a close eye on them as more information and a specific booking launch date becomes available.

How many tickets are allocated per destination/region will depend on demand. And if the scheme goes gangbusters, the federal government may add to the scheme later in the year in terms of locations and routes.

When asked about future planes, ScoMo says: “I think we’ll see more opportunities for this program.” He also encourages Aussies to take advantage of this unique opportunity we have to explore our own backyard while international borders remain closed. Locals have the island to themselves; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.

The package doesn’t just include these cheap flights, either. Airlines will also receive federal payments to keep about 8600 workers in jobs until international travel resumes in November. In a way, the government is asking Qantas and Virgin to prove their “readiness” to restart long-haul flights.

Small businesses also get a boost, including low-cost loans for employers due to losing JobKeeper at the end of this month.

The 800,000 half-price flights will be available in weekly batches from Thursday, April 1. For more information, keep your eye on QantasVirgin, and Jetstar.

(Lead image: Moran Falls, Queensland. Lochlainn Riordan / Unsplash)

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