As of 1st of July 2021 Qantas plans to run international flight bookings on regular routes. Mid 2021 has always been the target for the resumption of international services and it seems that even though it’s only 6 months away, Qantas is sticking to that timeline. Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner’s will be operating the iconic QF1/QF2 service between Sydney and London. The Qantas A380s will stay on the ground.
This is a rather optimistic outlook, as Australia has been one of the hardline countries in fighting COVID-19. Our borders closed swiftly to both international and domestic travellers.
Qantas has said it won’t carry passengers on international services who are not vaccinated. Many passengers feel that resumption later in 2021 is a more realistic outcome, even though there are plenty of Australians with itchy feet!
The majority of travellers are not as optimistic as Qantas regarding international travel, especially since the new COVID-19 clusters in Sydney, Melbourne and now Brisbane. This has led to the closure of most domestic borders. In Europe and the US borders have also been shut because of the aggressive new variant of the virus was discovered. This has the potential to persist for several months. This poses the question of will Australian arrivals continue to go into compulsory quarantine at a hefty cost of $3,000 per person.
One explanation for the accelerated timeline for Qantas, is their need for ticket sales to stay in business. Qantas can lock in funds from travellers both coming and going from Australia this winter but if they are forced to delay the flights’ departure date then they can issue travel credits or refunds. It is interesting to note, that it’s not only the London flights going back on the books, Qantas intends reopening all its usual international flight destinations from July the 1st 2021.