Qantas’s first commercial international flights from Australia in nearly two years are scheduled to take off on Dec. 18 and the two days following, right after the Federal Government’s overseas travel ban deadline on Dec. 17.
The flights will depart from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The first destinations include London, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Singapore, Tokyo, Fiji, and Honolulu.
“On current projections, Australia is expected to reach National Cabinet’s 80 percent vaccination threshold in December 2021, which would trigger the gradual reopening of international borders,” the company said on its website.
“If assumptions change or dates move, our restart plans will be adjusted accordingly and we’ll keep you updated.”
While the flights still depend on the Federal Government’s final decision on when to open the international border, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is relatively confident.
“It’s obviously up to government exactly how and when our international borders re-open, but with Australia on track to meet the 80 percent trigger agreed by National Cabinet by the end of the year, we need to plan ahead for what is a complex restart process,” Joyce said.
“Some people might say we’re being too optimistic, but based on the pace of the vaccine rollout, this is within reach and we want to make sure we’re ready.”
The cheapest tickets for Sydney-London on Dec. 18 have already sold out, according to Qantas’ booking site. The one-way tickets to London and Los Angeles are around $1600 and $2300.
“Unfortunately, I think there are one or two states that are taking a more conservative view on that, and departing from the national plan,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a business conference last week traveller.com.au reported.
“We might get into a situation where from Sydney you can visit your relatives in London, maybe Dublin, but you can’t visit your relatives in Perth, or maybe Cairns.”
Meanwhile, Air Canada has also made vaccination mandatory for its Sydney-Vancouver flight scheduled on Dec. 17.
The full list of Qantas international flights for December are:
- Sydney-London (December 18)
- Melbourne-London (December 18)
- Sydney-Los Angeles (December 18)
- Melbourne-Los Angeles (December 19)
- Brisbane-Los Angeles (December 19)
- Sydney-Honolulu (December 20)
- Sydney-Vancouver (December 18)
- Sydney-Singapore (December 18)
- Melbourne-Singapore (December 18)
- Brisbane-Singapore (December 19)
- Sydney-Tokyo (December 19)
- Sydney-Fiji (December 19)