Saturday, 19 Jun 2021

Qantas offers unlimited flights in biggest Covid-19 vaccine incentive

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) – Qantas Airways is offering unlimited flights for a year among a pool of prizes for people who have had Covid-19 shots, the biggest incentive yet from an Australian business in a bid to accelerate the country’s sluggish vaccination roll-out.

Giving details about the programme on Monday (May 31), chief executive Alan Joyce said 10 “mega prizes” would give families of four free travel with Qantas and its low-cost unit Jetstar for 12 months.

Previously announced rewards for fully vaccinated passengers include air miles, flight vouchers and loyalty programme status credits.

“We have a vested interest in this,” Mr Joyce said in a television interview with Channel 9 on Monday.

Companies worldwide with the most to gain from a return to normal economic activity are dangling the biggest rewards for vaccinations. United Airlines is also offering frequent fliers the chance to win free flights.

Governments have joined in: New York is running a free lottery for vaccinated people with a top prize of US$5 million (S$6.62 million), one of several American states offering jackpot winnings as an incentive.

New Jersey and others have offered free beer. In Hong Kong, vaccinated residents stand to win a US$1.4 million apartment.

After suppressing the virus, Australia is now struggling to overcome vaccine hesitancy.

Only about 4.2 million people in the nation of 26 million have received their first shot, and the state of Victoria is in the middle of a week-long lockdown to rein in a growing cluster of cases.

Mr Joyce called on other Australian companies to offer their own incentives to customers who have had coronavirus jabs.

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