Qantas aims to resume international flights by December


Australian Airlines Qantas plans to resume international flights to major “COVID Safe” markets, including North America and the United Kingdom, by mid-December.

This depends on the Australian Government’s plans to reopen its borders once the 80% COVID-19 vaccination standard is met by December, the airline said in a statement Thursday.

The Qantas Group hopes to use the Boeing 787 to fly to Singapore, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and Canada and resume flights to safe destinations with COVID from mid-December. The same is true for the Airbus A330, 737 and A320 for service to Fiji.

The airline also hopes that the two-way travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand will resume at the same time.

“The outlook for overseas flights may be distant, especially with the blockades of New South Wales and Victoria, but the current pace of vaccine deployment will be more within the coming months. It means we need to have freedom, “said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

Australia closed its border in March 2020. Currently, more than half of Australia’s 25 million people are blocked during the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a delta variant commonly known as the new coronavirus.

Epoch Times Photo
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce will be seen during breakfast on the Australian Business Council on March 17, 2021 at the Mural Hall of the Capitol in Canberra, Australia. (SamMooy / Getty Images)

Australia plans to achieve 80% vaccination by the end of the year, Joyce said, and airlines were thinking ahead of time to prepare for the reopening of the border. This includes training staff and freeing the aircraft from hibernation.

Airlines also need to prepare their IT systems so that customers can prove the status of vaccinations they need to travel abroad.

Based on current data, the Qantas Group prepares for the “very high” likelihood that major markets will be classified as countries with a low risk of vaccinated travelers visiting and returning. At that stage, the Australian Government has stated that reductions in quarantine requirements will begin during “Phase C” of the roadmap for countries exiting the pandemic.

“If things change, we can adjust our plans. This had to be done several times already during this pandemic. Some might say it’s too optimistic, but the vaccine. Based on the pace of deployment, we want to make sure this is within reach and ready, “Joyce said.

Airlines expect high demand for A380 aircraft service to London from November 2022, and flights to the West Coast of the United States are expected to resume sooner from July 2022.

Flights to Hong Kong are scheduled to resume in February 2022, and the remaining Qantas and Jetstar networks will resume in April 2022.

Caden Pearson