Qantas to launch international flights in November

October 01, 2021
A Qantas 787. Photo: Qantas

Qantas will bring forward the restart of international flights following the Australian Government’s announcement that international borders will open in November.

Qantas will operate three weekly return flights between Sydney and London and three weekly return flights between Sydney and Los Angeles with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Fares are on sale for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families, and some visa holders. Fares start from A$1662 return for Sydney-Los Angeles and A$1869 return for Sydney-London.

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All flights on both routes for the first week will be ‘Points Planes’, meaning frequent flyers can access uncapped Classic Flight Reward seats across all cabins. Seats on these flights will also be available as regular flight bookings.

Qantas said that once the Federal Government announces the exact date that Australia’s international borders will reopen in November, the commencement dates for these two routes may need to be updated.

Qantas said that flights will be brought forward if it’s earlier than November 14 or moved to later in the month if necessary. Customers booked on these flights will have the flexibility to make fee-free date changes for travel until December 31, 2022 (a fare difference may apply). If flights are canceled customers may also be eligible for a refund or credit voucher.

Qantas said that as previously indicated, all passengers on Qantas’ international flights will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved or recognized vaccine (some exemptions for medical reasons and children). They will also be required to return a negative PCR COVID test 72 hours prior to departure.

Customers on these flights will be required to home quarantine for seven days on arrival into Australia, in accordance with the requirements from the Federal and New South Wales governments.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “The early reopening of Australia’s international borders will mean so much to so many people and it’s made possible by the amazing ramp-up of the vaccine rollout.

“We welcome the Federal Government’s decision and the work by the New South Wales Government to facilitate the home quarantine approach that makes this feasible. We look forward to other States and Territories getting on board,” Mr. Joyce said.

“Beyond the initial rush, the ongoing demand for international flights will hinge largely on what the quarantine requirements are. The shift to seven-day home quarantine for fully vaccinated Australians with a negative test is a great step towards reducing this closer to what is becoming standard in many countries overseas, which is a test and release program.”

A Virgin Australia spokesperson said that “the arrangements foreshadowed by the Government today are an incredibly important step for the Australian community and the economy on our path to reopening and recovery.

“Virgin Australia is fully supportive of all measures that help facilitate a safe return to open travel and to the way of life we all value so much.

The airline is looking at international route opportunities and has already announced services between Sydney-Nadi and Brisbane-Nadi from December 23, 2021, and Melbourne-Nadi from December 24, 2021.

Virgin Australia has also scheduled services between Australia and New Zealand and Bali from early 2022.