The Federal Government has officially announced that the Australian international border will be closed until December 17, therefore Qantas being in the loop has published the first international flights on Monday, December 20, 2021, resuming service after a whopping 21 months of absence.
It is the starting point for a gradual rebuilding of Australia’s international network, based on government advice about reopening Australia’s international borders once the national vaccination rate reaches 80 percent.
“It’s obviously up to government exactly how and when our international borders re-open,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce cautions, but says he has shared his plans with the government “and they agree with our broad assumptions and agree that our plan is reasonable.”
The airline’s plans are also contingent on either quarantine-free travel bubbles or ‘green lanes’ between countries, or a limited period of manageable home isolation on their return to Australia, rather than spending 14 days in hotel quarantine for upwards of $3,000.
Singapore, London, and Los Angeles all feature daily flights – mostly on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – in the first week of the airline’s overseas return, and Qantas plans to reopen its lounges at those locations.
Travellers can also expect to fly to Tokyo, Vancouver, Fiji, and Honolulu that week. Hong Kong, San Francisco and Dallas/Forth Worth are back on the map from the week commencing February 14, 2022.
This list below doesn’t include flights between Australia and New Zealand, which Qantas expects will resume in mid-December 2021 “on the assumption some or all parts of the two-way bubble will restart.”
Here are the first international routes which Qantas expects to open, based on the airline’s schedule as always, they’re subject to change, as reported by Executive Traveller.
- Sydney-Singapore-London/Heathrow: from December 20, 2021 – daily Boeing 787
- Sydney-Los Angeles: from December 20, 2021 – daily Boeing 787
- Sydney-Singapore: from December 20, 2021 – daily Airbus A330
- Sydney-Honolulu: from December 20, 2021 – four Airbus A330 flights per week
- Sydney-Tokyo/Haneda: from December 20, 2021 – four Airbus A330 flights per week
- Sydney-Vancouver: from December 20, 2021 – three Boeing 787 flights per week
- Sydney-Nadi (Fiji): from December 21, 2021 – four Boeing 737 flights per week
- Sydney-Hong Kong: from February 14, 2022 – four Airbus A330 flights per week
- Sydney-Dallas/Forth Worth: from February 14, 2022 – five Boeing 787 flights per week
- Sydney-San Francisco: from February 16, 2022 – three Boeing 787 flights per week
- Melbourne-Los Angeles: from December 20, 2021 – four Boeing 787 flights per week
- Melbourne-Singapore: from December 20, 2021 – four Airbus A330 flights per week
- Melbourne-Hong Kong: from February 15, 2022 – three Airbus A330 flights per week
- Melbourne-Tokyo/Haneda: from February 15, 2022 – three Airbus A330 flights per week
- Brisbane-Los Angeles: from December 22, 2021 – three Airbus A330 flights per week
- Brisbane-Singapore: from December 22, 2021 – three Airbus A330 flights per week
- Brisbane-Noumea: from January 8, 2022 – one Boeing 737 flight per week
- Brisbane-San Francisco: from February 14, 2022 – three Airbus A330 flights per week
- Perth-London/Heathrow: from December 20, 2021 – daily Boeing 787
- Perth-Singapore: from February 14, 2022 – daily Airbus A330
According to Qantas, all passengers on these flights must be fully vaccinated; the airline will launch a Travel Pass smartphone app to not only confirm vaccination status but also store and display the results of pre-departure Covid tests, which are likely to be required for entry into many countries.
From April 2022, Qantas will add more destinations, including those with “low vaccine rates and high levels of Covid infection,” such as Bali, Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City, and Johannesburg.
Sydney-Los Angeles flights will be upgraded to an Airbus A380 in July 2022, with Sydney-Singapore-London flights following in November 2022, as the superjumbos make a welcome return to the skies.
Qantas has extended its Fly Flexible policy, allowing passengers who book international flights before February 28, 2022, to make unlimited date changes until December 31, 2022. (although a fare difference may apply, depending on the ticket pricing for a later booking).
Source: Executive Traveller