The bulk of flying in Australia is aboard either a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320. They are reliable if hardly glamorous aircraft. But there are a number of domestic flights in Australia operated using twin aisled aircraft. The transcontinental flights between Perth and the east coast are the best known.
But there are also twin aisle jets that scoot up and down the east coast of Australia – if you know what to look for. That’s something I’m going to explore over the next few weeks in Oz Traveller.
This article is about a new twin aisle domestic service. It isn’t that exotic but it is a cheapie. I stumbled onto it by accident and frankly, I’m rather chuffed that I’ve scored a flight on a 787-8 for AUD$45.00
Next week Jetstar will start flying to Seoul out of the Gold Coast. There is an interesting backstory here that will probably be the subject of another article next week. In the meantime, Jetstar has to position the 787-8s they will use on this service to the Gold Coast.
Beginning 8 December 2019, Jetstar will be flying a Boeing 787-8 weekly between Melbourne and the Gold Coast, flying up on Wednesdays, continuing onto Seoul and returning the following day. The schedule is as follows:
|Dep Melbourne (MEL)||JQ49||Wed||07:00|
|Arr Gold Coast (OOL)||08:05|
|Dep Gold Coast (OOL)||JQ50||Thu||10:10|
|Arr Melbourne (MEL)||13:25|
Twice a week Jetstar will fly a 787-8 between Sydney and the Gold Coast before continuing onto Seoul. The Gold Coast bound flights will depart Sydney on Friday and Sunday. The Sydney bound flights will depart the Gold Coast on Monday and Saturday. The schedule is as follows:
|Depart Sydney (SYD)||JQ49||Fri, Sun||09:45|
|Arr Gold Coast (OOL)||10:05|
|Dep Gold Coast (OOL)||JQ50||Sat, Mon||10:00|
|Arr Sydney (SYD)||12:30|
I should note that this schedule is based on flights in January 2020. Over the longer term you should expect some changes to timings and a bit of swapping between Sydney and Melbourne. The Jetstar website is a good place to start any research.
These flights also depart from international terminals – meaning a slightly more laborious departure process. You won’t need a passport but you will need photo identification.
So what’s the big deal? Well, Jetstar mostly operates a fleet of A320s and they are nothing special. Personally, I’d much rather fly in a bigger 787-8. The fares on these flights are extremely well priced when compared against competing flights on smaller aircraft. Finally, while the international departures experience at the Gold Coast is nothing worth writing about, departing from the international terminals in either Sydney or Melbourne means access to international standard lounges.
You can even do the Jetstar business class thing if that’s what floats your boat.
Qantas platinum and Oneworld Emeralds can pop into the Qantas First Lounges in either city. There are also Qantas business lounges for lesser mortals travelling on Jetstar. Dragon Pass, Priority Pass holders and certain American Express cardholders can all access lounges prior to their bargain basement Jetstar flight to the Gold Coast.
It is an infinitely preferable experience to hanging around T2 in Sydney or T4 in Melbourne and loitering in the REX lounges there.
Jetstar also offers 787-8 services between Melbourne and Cairns and Sydney and Cairns. I’ll be writing about these shortly.