In splendid news for those keen to break the overseas travel shackles, Qantas is set to kick off 12 international routes in December.
The flights, which are planned to begin from 18 December, are part of Qantas’ international restart strategy, which the airline released last month.
The plan revealed both Qantas and Jetstar were preparing to resume international travel in line with ‘Phase C’ of the National Cabinet’s plan, which involves the gradual reopening of international borders once Australia reaches an 80 per cent vaccination rate.
On current projections, Australia is expected to reach the National Cabinet’s ‘Phase C’ vaccination threshold of 80 per cent in December.
Traveller reported the exact dates Qantas has planned, revealing flights from Sydney to London, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Singapore are expected to resume on 18 December, as well as Melbourne flights to London and Singapore.
On 19 December, the airline is scheduled to resume flights from Melbourne to Los Angeles, Brisbane to Los Angeles, Brisbane to Singapore and Sydney to both Tokyo and Fiji, followed by Sydney to Honolulu on 20 December.
The airline has previously said its international restart would prioritise destinations with high vaccination rates, including North America, the UK, Singapore and Japan.
It also appears Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has stuck to his guns after taking a swipe at Western Australia’s border policy, as Traveller pointed out the noticeable absence of Perth from the list.
The resumption depends, of course, on whether the federal government relaxes international border restrictions per the National Cabinet’s plan, and which countries it plans to allow Aussies to travel to.
Last week Qantas’ chief customer officer, Stephanie Tully, told attedees of a Tourism Australia webinar that while the airline is expecting a “large influx of demand”, a 14-day hotel quarantine period would be a “demand killer”.
“If it’s 14 days’ hotel quarantine, we will not get the demand we need to operate. Hotel quarantine is a demand killer,” she said.
“Our view is hotel quarantine should be eliminated or greatly reduced.”
In other Qantas-related news, the flying kangaroo launched direct flights between Adelaide and Townsville on Monday, and is set to begin flying between Brisbane and Launceston for the first time from 1 November.
QantasLink now operates three weekly return flights between Adelaide and Townsville with Embraer E190 regional jet aircraft, delivering more than 550 seats on the route each week, with opening sale fares from $179 one way for travel between October 2021 and March 2022 until 25 September.
On its new route between Brisbane and Launceston, the carrier will operate three return services per week with QantasLink’s Boeing 717 aircraft until the end of March 2022, offering more than 15,000 additional seats on the route.
Jetstar will also add an additional two weekly return services to its existing Brisbane to Launceston flights, offering a total of nine return flights each week with its Airbus A320 aircraft.
The airline said will look to add more flights beyond this date if there is demand.
Featured image source: iStock/Boarding1Now