Qantas has announced that it will increase international flights from Melbourne beginning Monday and reintroduce Melbourne-London services beginning this Saturday, for the first time in 20 months since the pandemic grounded international travel.
The airline is also preparing to reintroduce regularly scheduled passenger service between Melbourne and Los Angeles beginning December 19.
The announcement comes after Victoria reopened its international border earlier this month to fully vaccinated Australian citizens and residents. The federal government lifted its ban on outbound travel for Australians.
Qantas’ first regularly scheduled international passenger flights from Melbourne resumed on Monday, with QF35 departing for Singapore at 11:50 a.m.
Qantas has also announced a brand-new international route from Melbourne to Delhi beginning on December 22, 2021, connecting Victoria to the Indian capital on a Qantas-operated flight for the first time in the airline’s history.
The new Melbourne-Delhi flight will be operating four times per week all year. Connections from Brisbane, Sydney, and Canberra will also be available on the same day. Flights from Melbourne to Delhi will initially use Adelaide as a stopover, while flights from Delhi to Melbourne will be nonstop.
This comes on the heels of the recent announcement of flights from Sydney to Delhi, which will begin next month. When this route became available, Qantas experienced the fastest booking surge for flights departing Australia since the airline announced its international restart plans in August.
According to Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, the relaunch of international flights from Victoria will allow for long-awaited reunions with loved ones and help the state maintain its position as one of Australia’s premier destinations for global travellers.
“Victorians have had it tougher than most over the last two years, and we believe many will see the resumption of Qantas international flights as another important step towards life returning to normal,” Mr Joyce said.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of Victorians booking well-deserved international holidays, and as borders open up to international visitors, we expect to see a surge in the number of international visitors visiting Melbourne, which will benefit local tourism and hospitality businesses.”
The resumption of our international flights is only possible because Victorians and Australians, in general, have rolled up their sleeves to get the vaccine.
While the last 20 months have undoubtedly been the most challenging in Qantas history, as we emerge from the crisis, we are seizing new opportunities to expand our network in response to unprecedented pent-up travel demand. This is assisting us in re-hiring more Qantas employees.
While the international travel experience will be essentially the same as before COVID, some things will look and feel a little different, especially in the short term.