SYDNEY, 4 October 2021: Qantas will bring forward the restart date for international flights to 14 November 2021, following the Federal Government’s announcement that Australia’s borders will open in November, the airline confirmed at the weekend.
The national carrier 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. The London flight will make a stop in Singapore. The nonstop London flight from Darwin will be discontinued in preference for the service out of Sydney with a transit stop in Singapore.
Fares are now on sale for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and some visa holders. Fares start from AUD1662 return for Sydney-Los Angeles and AUD1869 return for Sydney-London.
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.
Once the Federal Government announces the exact date that Australia’s international borders will reopen in November, the commencement dates for the two routes may need to update, the airline said in a press statement. Flights will be brought forward if it’s earlier than 14 November 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 31 December 2022 (a fare difference may apply). If flights are cancelled, customers may also be eligible for a refund or credit voucher.
As previously indicated, all passengers on Qantas’ international flights will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved or recognised vaccine (some exemptions for medical reasons and children). They will also be required to return a negative PCR Covid test 72 hours before 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.
At this stage, all other international routes that were scheduled to resume from 18 December 2021 will continue as planned, although the airline group has the flexibility to add additional routes if other states and territories decide to open their borders earlier and reduce quarantine requirements to seven days at home, or less.
Qantas will continue to operate government-sponsored repatriation services as required, helping to bring Australians home from around the world, including home quarantine trial flights.
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’d already sold out some of our international flights for December and seen strong demand on flights to and from London and Los Angeles, so we’re confident there will be a lot of interest in these earlier services.
“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 programe.”