Qantas CEO: ‘Vaccination Passport’ for Travellers Likely a Global Rule

Caden Pearson

Qantas will be part of a global push by airlines to require international travellers and people leaving Australia to prove that they have been vaccinated against the CCP virus before they can board an aircraft.

“We think that’s a necessity,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce told Nine’s A Current Affairs on Monday.

“We are looking at changing the terms and conditions to say for international travellers that we will ask people to have the vaccination before they get on the aircraft,” Joyce said.

International travel to some parts of the world is optimistically expected to resume late next year if a vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus (novel coronavirus) becomes available early in 2021.

The Qantas Group CEO said that he has been talking to his “colleagues in other airlines around the globe” and the mandatory vaccination rule will be “a common theme across the board.”

A man receives a flu vaccine at the Museum of science and technology in Milan, Italy on Nov. 4, 2020. (Luca Bruno/The Associated Press)
A man receives a flu vaccine at the Museum of science and technology in Milan, Italy on Nov. 4, 2020. (Luca Bruno/The Associated Press)

Airlines and governments around the world are working on the extensive technology and logistics required to implement an electronic “vaccination passport” that will certify what vaccines a traveller has and if it’s acceptable to the country the person is travelling to. “The airlines and the governments are working on this as we speak,” Joyce said.

But Joyce did not confirm whether it will be required for domestic air travel, saying, “We'll have to see what happens with COVID-19 in the market.”

Federal Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten said the proposal was a no brainer after Qantas lost $2 billion due to border restrictions in the wake of the pandemic.

“I would expect anyone coming into Australia is going to have to demonstrate to us that they are COVID safe,” he told Nine’s Today Show on Tuesday. "Why wouldn’t they (Qantas) want to make sure.

“I would like to know the passenger next to me was vaccinated,” Shorten said.

Qantas’ domestic flights in Australia saw a boost this week as the New South Wales-Victoria border was reopened. Victorians hopped aboard flights out of the state from day one, and Qantas reported that 25,000 flights had been booked in the first 48 hours after the border reopening announcement was made.

Joyce said that the airline is keen to have all internal borders opened by Christmas. His hope is one step closer now that Queensland Premier Anastacia Palascszuk announced on Tuesday that Queensland’s border to New South Wales would be fully reopened on Dec. 1.