Qantas has once again opened for booking almost all of its international flights from next July, including to London and the United States.
After postponing the resumption of intercontinental flights to October 2021 at the earliest in December, optimism seems to have returned to the Australian flag carrier. Still subject to the reopening of borders by destination countries, Qantas now allows flights to be booked between Australia and London-Heathrow Airport (the “kangaroo route”) as well as those to Los Angeles or Dallas among others. . Routes to Japan, Hong Kong or Singapore, which were to resume at the end of March, have also been postponed to early July.
Some destinations are still missing, including New York-JFK and Santiago de Chile airports or the future route between Brisbane and Chicago, which had already been postponed several times. But Johannesburg will once again welcome Qantas planes.
All these routes should a priori be operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, Qantas having decided to park its Airbus A380s until 2023.
A spokesperson for the Oneworld alliance company told Business Traveler: “Qantas has aligned the sale of our international services to reflect our expectation that international travel will start to restart from July 2021. We continue to review and to update our international calendar in response to the evolution of the Covid-19 situation ”.
The focus on returning routes to the UK and US reflects the progress of vaccinations in both countries, as Qantas CEO Alan Joyce announced at the end of November that they should be mandatory for all passengers international coming to Australia. This would ultimately leave a simple choice for travelers: get vaccinated or stay at home. No other country or airline has followed this path, although « many are working on the vaccination passport, » he says, like IATA for example.
Recall that Australia is not expected to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine until next month, the latter starting to be inoculated in Great Britain; the country has ordered 10 million and 54 million doses of each vaccine, respectively. The government hopes that all Australians will be vaccinated (free) by next October.