Qantas Reckon International Flights Will Return From October This Year
Get your passports at the ready lads, because we could be able to jet off overseas from October this year.
Qantas announced that flights for 22 international destinations would resume from October 31, including flights to London, Singapore and Los Angeles.
The New York, Santiago and Osaka routes won’t be back until later, however passengers might still access codeshare flights or connections.
The airline had initially forecast for flights to resume from July this year, however, that date had to be pushed back by nearly four months.
“The date change aligns with the expected timeframe for Australia’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout to be effectively complete,” Qantas said in a statement.
“Capacity will be lower than pre-Covid levels, with frequencies and aircraft type deployed on each route in line with the projected recovery of international flying.”
The company said its current international flying capacity was currently at around 8 per cent of its pre-pandemic levels.
Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce said: “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve updated our assumptions on international travel restarting.
“Since the start of this year, we’ve seen a huge surge in Covid cases around the world, new strains emerging and a shift from ‘herd immunity’ as the threshold for opening borders to ‘fully vaccinated’.
“As a result, we’re now planning for international travel to restart at the end of October this year, in line with the date for Australia’s vaccine rollout to be effectively complete.
Qantas Has Started Selling International Flights Starting From July
“We’re still targeting July for a material increase in New Zealand flights. We’re in close consultation with government, and if things change, so will our dates.
“But with the vaccine rollout already underway, we’re on the right track.”
While its international network is not expected to be fully restored until at least 2024, Qantas did say that the company was working towards a ‘significant increase’ in flights to New Zealand from July 1.
In order to encourage people to book in their flights beforehand, Qantas will also allow unlimited, free date changes to flights booked from today until April 2022.
The announcement came as the Qantas Group reported a whopping $1 billion loss in its half-year trading update as a result of the pandemic.
Joyce said the airline’s massive loss was ‘stark but not surprising’.
“During the half, we saw the second wave in Victoria and the strictest domestic travel restrictions since the pandemic began,” he said.
“Virtually all of our international flying and 70 per cent of domestic flying stopped, and with it went three-quarters of our revenue.”
The government hasn’t yet signalled when international borders will be opened up and whether it will be a country-by-country basis.