Qantas to relaunch international flights as border reopens
Qantas will bring forward the restart of its international flights to November 14th.
The news comes in response to an announcement from the Australian federal government that the country will reopen its border from November.
The move will give long-awaited freedoms to vaccinated citizens and their relatives.
Since March last, Australia has had some of the strictest border rules in the world - even banning its own people from leaving the country.
The policy has been praised for helping to suppress Covid-19, but it has also separated families.
The national carrier will operate three weekly return flights between Sydney and London and three weekly return flights between Sydney and Los Angeles with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.
These two destinations have been the most searched on qantas.com in recent weeks.
More flights will be added to meet demand, if needed, the carrier said.
Fares are now on sale for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and some visa holders.
Once the federal government announces the exact date that the international borders will reopen next month, the commencement dates for these two routes may need to be updated, the carrier warned.
Qantas Group chief executive, Alan Joyce, said: “The early reopening of Australia’s international borders will mean so much to so many people and it’s made possible by the amazing ramp up of the vaccine rollout.
“We know Australians can’t wait to travel overseas and be reunited with their loved ones, and literally thousands are waiting to come back home, so this faster restart is fantastic news.
“It also means we can get more of our people back to work, sooner.
“We welcome the government’s decision and the work by the New South Wales Government to facilitate the home quarantine approach that makes this feasible.
“We look forward to other states and territories getting on board.”
As previously indicated, all passengers on Qantas’ international flights will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved or recognised vaccine (some exemptions for medical reasons and children).
They will also be required to return a negative PCR Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to departure.