Qantas intends to resume international flights to the second group of overseas destinations on March 27, 2022, two years after the pandemic-related grounding.
The Qantas itinerary now shows flights to Bali, Jakarta, Bangkok, Manila, and Johannesburg departing from Sydney on Sunday, March 27 — and for most of those destinations, this will be the first time in two years that a flying kangaroo red-tail has arrived there.
While all of these flights are now available for purchase, they remain subject to travel restrictions imposed by governments on either end.
The Australian government, on the other hand, has stated that under its national Covid-19 recovery plan, vaccinated citizens and residents will be permitted to leave the country without special permission once 80 per cent of the adult population is fully vaccinated – a milestone expected by mid-November 2021.
More significant for business travellers and vacationers, as well as those travelling abroad to reconnect with family and friends, will be quarantine restrictions placed on Australians returning from such countries.
“A critical aspect in determining the degree of demand for foreign flight in the future will be how Australians are quarantined once their return,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said.
“The seven-day home quarantine trial in New South Wales is a significant step forwards, and we hope the system evolves quickly enough that vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries are not required to quarantine upon arrival, especially given Australia’s on track to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.”
As previously reported, Qantas will restart service to Singapore, London, Los Angeles, and Vancouver on December 18, 2021, followed by Tokyo, Fiji, and Honolulu in the days after. Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Dallas/Forth Worth will resume service beginning February 14, 2022.
Joyce previously stated that he shared his intentions with the government, which “agrees with our broad assumptions and believes our strategy is appropriate.”
One hurdle in Joyce’s plans is the Western Australian government’s insistence on keeping the state’s borders closed until early 2022, forcing the airline to delay the scheduled December 18 relaunch of its flagship direct Perth-London service.
Rather than that, the Boeing 787 trip will now operate via Darwin or Singapore until at least April 2022, with the airline deciding which city will host the Kangaroo Route layover in the following weeks.