AFL Grand Final 2018: Airlines poised to send extra flights from Perth to Melbourne
QANTAS, Virgin Australia, Alliance and Skippers are ready to put an armada of over 100 planes into the air if the West Coast Eagles get over the Melbourne Demons this afternoon.
All airlines have fielded “dozens of inquiries” to charter FIFO jets this week but no one is ready to commit till 4pm this afternoon.
In 2013 and 2015, when the Dockers and Eagles made the Grand Final over 90 jets were involved in the uplift of tens of thousands of fans.
Already Qantas and Virgin have been swapping in larger planes for scheduled flights for next week replacing 174-seat Boeing 737s with 297-seat A330s on many flights.
Virgin has also committed to put five extra services on and will monitor the situation.
Yesterday the one-way fare levels for Wednesday September 26 for a non-stop flight to Melbourne started at $456 on Jetstar, $524 on Tigerair and $582 on Qantas.
For Thursday the price jumps to $524 on Jetstar and $603 on Qantas and $667 on Virgin Australia.
Yesterday, the Friday September 28 flights were actually cheaper with Jetstar at $480 one-way, Tigerair $524 and Qantas $587.
However, if the the game progresses in the Eagles favour those fares will rise as fans take the punt during the games that a win is more likely than not and the cheaper seats are snapped up.
This was the pattern in the previous finals games as the certainty of a Dockers or Eagles Grand Final appearance crystallised.
It is expected the extra flights will be released to the public either during or just after the game, with seats expected to be taken in minutes.
Qantas which is now using Boeing 747s on the Sydney to Perth route may swing the 364-seat venerable giant onto the Perth to Melbourne route.
One of the charter groups is Eagle Air which can be found on Facebook by typing in Eagle Air Grand Final tickets.
Tickets are $1360 which includes flights and chartered bus to and from Melbourne CBD.