Following a trial on domestic services earlier this year, Australia’s Qantas Airways is now extending its Neighbour-Free seating trial to 19 international routes.

Destinations included in the current trial include Singapore, Auckland, Christchurch, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas and Honolulu.

The service is available to eligible passengers booked in economy class. Premium economy or business class passengers will not be offered this option.

Neighbour-Free seating will start from A$45 on trans-Tasman flights, A$100 (US$63) between Australia and Singapore, and A$225 between Australia and the United States.

Customers booked on a flight with spare seats will be emailed 48 hours before departure to purchase a Neighbour-Free seat.

The service is available on Qantas marketed and operated flights only, meaning codeshare services are excluded.

Passengers who have purchased ancillaries, such as extra legroom, or have requested an upgrade, are not eligible. The same goes for unaccompanied minors or passengers in a group booking.

“We’ve had a really positive reaction from customers who’ve opted to travel Neighbour Free on our domestic network and customers have told us they want the option on our international flights too. The data shows its most popular with customers on our longer flights between the east and west coasts, so rolling it out to our international flights makes a lot of sense,” said Catriona Larritt, chief customer and digital officer at Qantas.

“Whether they’re hopping across the Tasman or taking a longer flight to the United States, we think customers will value being able to secure some extra space. International bookings can be a little more complex, which is why we’re starting with select routes and bookings without additional products to test our processes, before expanding the program in the coming months,” Larritt added.

Separately, Qantas and Alliance Aviation earlier this week announced the termination of their May 2022 agreement for Qantas to fully acquire the Australian-based charter operator after Qantas’ acquisition of Alliance was formally opposed by the competition regulator in April 2023.

Qantas will continue to serve the growing resources sector through its existing charter operations; it currently has around 27 per cent of the total charter market.

The group will retain its shareholding of nearly 20 per cent of Alliance and will continue its long-term agreement that sees Alliance operate up to 30 E190 aircraft for the Qantas Group.

Qantas has agreed to exercise options for four additional aircraft under that agreement, which will bring the total number of E190s operated by Alliance for the Qantas Group to 26 aircraft, with four options remaining. The additional aircraft are expected to join the Qantas fleet from April 2024.