How to Get in on the Government’s Half-Priced Flights Around Australia

How to Get in on the Government’s Half-Priced Flights Around Australia
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Let’s face it, international holidays aren’t happening any time soon. But on the plus side, we live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world so there’s no better time to take a local trip.

To drive home this exact point, the Australian government is implementing a $1.2 billion tourism rescue package. On offer will be 800,000 flights at 50% off. You heard that right, half price.

The flight subsidy is a plan to get tourism rolling again in Australia. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said of the scheme:

“This is our ticket to recovery – 800,000 half-price airfares to get Australians travelling and supporting tourism operators, businesses, travel agents and airlines who continue to do it tough through COVID-19, while our international borders remain closed. This package will take more tourists to our hotels and cafes, taking tours and exploring our backyard. That means more jobs and investment for the tourism and aviation sectors as Australia heads towards winning our fight against COVID-19 and the restrictions that have hurt so many businesses.”

So how can you cash in on this tourism drive?

How to land half-price flights

The half-price flights provide a 50% discount off the average fair of the travel route. Return flights to eligible locations will automatically receive the discount.

To claim these flights travellers will need to book a trip directly with an airline on its website – this includes Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar. Precise numbers of flights available will be driven by demand but it’s estimated around 46,000 discounted fares will be offered weekly.

Flights must occur between April 1 and September 30. Bookings will open on April 1 and close on July 30. So, yes folks, that does include a sneaky Easter holiday.

The idea is that with travellers saving money on flights they’ll be more likely to support the hotspots they visit with accommodation bookings and activity spending.

There’s no telling how quickly these flights will sell out, so your best bet is to plan ahead and know exactly what you want when they go on sale.

When bookings open you’ll need to select an economy airfare on an approved route on the Jetstar, Qantas or Virgin Australia websites. The discount will be applied at the checkout.

Where can you travel?

According to 7News, the half-price ticket program will include these routes:

Gold Coast

  • Adelaide – Gold Coast
  • Melbourne – Gold Coast
  • Sydney – Gold Coast
  • Canberra – Gold Coast
  • Avalon – Gold Coast

Tropical North Queensland

  • Melbourne – Cairns
  • Sydney – Cairns
  • Darwin – Cairns

Whitsundays and Mackay region

  • Sydney – Proserpine
  • Sydney – Hamilton Island
  • Sunshine Coast (Queensland)
  • Sydney – Maroochydore
  • Melbourne – Maroochydore
  • Adelaide – Maroochydore

Lasseter and Alice Springs

  • Adelaide – Alice Springs
  • Sydney – Uluru
  • Brisbane – Alice Springs
  • Melbourne – Alice Springs
  • Perth – Alice Springs
  • Sydney – Alice Springs
  • Brisbane – Uluru
  • Melbourne – Uluru

Launceston, Devonport and Burnie

  • Melbourne – Launceston
  • Sydney – Launceston
  • Brisbane – Launceston
  • Melbourne – Devonport
  • Melbourne – Burnie


  • Darwin – Broome
  • Sydney – Broome
  • Melbourne – Broome

Avalon (Victoria)

  • Gold Coast – Avalon
  • Sydney – Avalon
  • Merimbula (New South Wales)
  • Melbourne – Merimbula
  • Kangaroo Island (South Australia)
  • Adelaide – Kingscote

The government has apparently selected these locations as they’ve been some of the hardest hit by the lack of international tourists.

If you need some suggestions of where to go and what to do on your trip, we have some suggestions.

This article has been updated with additional information.


  • QUOTE: “… half-price flights provide a 50% discount off the average fair of the travel route …”

    The price of a bus ride or an aeroplane ride is a FARE [sic].

    Fair? Really?

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