SYDNEY, July 1 (Xinhua) — Australia’s flag carrier Qantas and its subsidiary Jetstar expect to fly more than 350,000 domestic passengers in the first days of July as school holidays begin in much of the country.
Schools in New South Wales (NSW), Western Australia (WA) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) started their two-week winter break on Friday afternoon with many young families eager to make the most of the holiday.
Qantas and Jetstar had similar numbers for the start of the holiday in the states of Victoria and Queensland over the weekend, with the airlines releasing a joint statement saying “things were running relatively smoothly”.
“We thank customers for their patience during the traditionally very busy time and thank our people for their hard work during these school holidays and beyond,” the statement read.
In preparation for the surge in demand, airlines, which had been putting off staff for the past two years due to COVID-19 border closures and lockdowns, have hired more than 1,000 new employees in recent months, including cabin crew, pilots, engineers and airports. . staff to assist with check-in, manage long queues and standby to assist in overcrowded luggage areas.
Despite airlines ramping up their workforces, passengers in Sydney were already standing in long lines as dawn broke at the country’s busiest airport on Friday.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the airport had deployed 60 additional customer service representatives to manage its thousands of passengers during peak times.
Over 2.1 million passengers are expected to travel through Sydney Airport during the holidays, including more than 1.5 million traveling within Australia.
“Our forecast shows that July school holidays will be even busier than what we saw in April (during the Easter break),” said Geoff Culbert, Sydney Airport CEO.
“It’s great to see continued demand for air travel, but we won’t condone the fact that the terminals will be crowded and queues during the school holidays.”