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Qantas New Caledonia flights return: Why it’s such big news for frequent flyers

Posted: 2 June 2022 10:25 am
News
QantasNewCaledonia_Supplied_1800x1000

One of the best Qantas status runs is available again – here's how to do it.

C'est fantastique! Qantas has finally resumed flights between Australia and New Caledonia.

While Qantas' New Caledonian partner airline Aircalin resumed flights in February, we've had to wait until now for Qantas itself to bring back flights to Noumea, the country's capital.

Weekly flights from Brisbane resume 4 June, with 3-times-a-week Sydney connections following on 5 June. From 14 August, a fourth Sydney flight (on Saturdays) will be added.

Here's what's on offer.

RouteFlight#TimesDays
Sydney-NoumeaQF910740-1130Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday
Noumea-SydneyQF921235-1455Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday
Brisbane-NoumeaQF891200-1505Saturday
Noumea-BrisbaneQF901605-1740Saturday

Both routes utilise 737-800 aircraft and offer Business and Economy seating.

Why frequent flyers love New Caledonia

New Caledonia is one of my favourite destinations. It has tropical beaches, fantastically friendly locals, great weather and (most importantly) proper French bread.

Bakery in New Caledonia

There are currently no pre-flight COVID test requirements for New Caledonia. You have to take a RAT test 48 hours after arrival, but those are available for free in local pharmacies.

But Noumea also has a special place in the hearts of frequent flyers for a different reason.

It's one of the best routes to utilise if you want to do a status run. That's a flight designed purely to earn status credits so you can maintain your frequent flyer status.

The approach goes like this:

  • Wait until Qantas is running a double Status Credits offer, so you get maximum value.
  • Book a Business seat from Adelaide to Noumea. The key is to look for flights that run via multiple east coast cities. For instance, Adelaide-Melbourne-Sydney. Each flight will earn you credits at Business rates, but the overall fare is a lot lower than buying them individually.
  • Remember, you're looking to earn Status Credits, so you need to pay for the flight, not use points. You'll also likely have to pay for a flight to Adelaide, and you might need to overnight in Sydney. Status runs can be like that.

Here's a sample one-way itinerary:

Qantas Itinerary

This is priced at $1,721 right now. For that, you'll earn 290 Status Credits if you do it during a double credits offer. And you can repeat the trick on the return.

On a quick check, I couldn't find the "holy grail" version, which incorporates Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. But even adding one city helps mount up the credits.

Is this slightly mad? Definitely. But is it worth it if you want to keep your status? The answer might be yes.

I can't decide for you. But am I thinking about this flight myself? Honestly, yes.

Want to keep your frequent flyer points balance growing? Check out the latest credit card sign-up deals.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more.

Pictures: New Caledonia Tourism

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