Australia’s national carrier, Qantas has reopened bookings for international flights from July 2021, perhaps considering that vaccinations will have begun to curb the spread of the coronavirus and travel demand will go up.
It’s now possible to book overseas flights, including to the US and UK, from July 1.
However, the Federal Government has warned international borders will not reopen until it is safe to do so.
The Australian airline has been grounded for months but has now reopened bookings from the middle of 2021.
Ticket sales for Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, which had been set to start in March, have been pushed back to July, while other destinations like London have been brought forward from October, Australia’s national carrier said Tuesday. New Zealand is the only overseas destination to which Qantas is currently flying.
“Recently we have aligned the selling of our international services to reflect our expectation that international travel will begin to restart from July 2021,” Qantas said. “We continue to review and update our international schedule in response to the developing COVID-19 situation.”
Speaking at the Qantas’ 2020 annual general meeting in October, Qantas Group CEO Alan, Joyce said that “for some of our big destination like the United States and the UK, it’s going to need a vaccine given the high prevalence of the virus in both of those locations.”
“But we are getting more and more confident about the opportunities and the potential for a vaccine in helping getting those operations up by potentially by the end of 2021.”
Joyce has previously said that vaccination will be mandatory for all international Qantas flights, with likely exceptions made on ‘travel bubble’ corridors.
Some routes will also see a reduction in frequency. For example, Sydney-Hong Kong – which used to see two Qantas flights per day in pre-COVID times – will initially be cut back to a single daily Boeing 787.
Till now, the Australian government has banned citizens from leaving the country unless they receive an exemption, which can include travel for business, as part of the coronavirus fight or on compassionate grounds.
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