In a sign of growing confidence in the vaccine and resumption of normal travel in a post Covid world, Qantas will recommence international flights to Hong Kong, London and Tokyo on 1st July 2021. The airline had previously scheduled a resumption of flights in October 2021. Global Distribution Systems (GDS) have been updated with the revised schedules.
In a statement, the airline announced “Qantas has aligned the selling of our international services to reflect our expectation that international travel will begin to restart from July 2021. We continue to review and update our international schedule in response to the developing COVID-19 situation.”
Australia has been one of the clear winners during he Covid 19 pandemic when assessing it against the number of Covid transmissions and deaths in the country. To achieve these low rates of infection, the government took swift and sweeping actions to virtually halt any arrivals into the country. Those that were permitted to travel in were forced to stay in government managed quarantine facilities for 14 days where they would be unable to leave their rooms. The suppressed demand resulted in Qantas cancelling all its international flights and grounding a large proportion of its fleet.
It should be noted that today’s announcement is exclusively about the resumption of international flights. Whilst no official announcements have been made regarding the re-opening of the country’s borders, Qantas generally operates in close coordination with the government. It would therefore be reasonable to conclude that the government has provided some indication to the airline that foreign travellers will be permitted to enter from July.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has indicated that being vaccinated against Covid will be a requirement for entry into the country. If the UK manages to achieve its vaccination target of 2 million people per week, then most British travellers should be eligible for entry into Australia by the end of the year if speculation about Australia’s borders opening is correct.
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