Pack your bags! Qantas announces international travel to amazing tourist hotspots will restart EARLIER than expected as airline confirms where it will be flying to first – here’s everything you need to know
- International travel to kickstart weeks ahead of schedule as soon as November
- Sydney to Singapore flights will recommence on November 23 – a month early
- New route will also open up to Delhi with flights beginning on December 6
Australians desperate for an overseas holiday can book flights to five favourite destinations even earlier than expected.
Qantas previously announced flights would begin on major routes out of Sydney such as London and Los Angeles from November 1.
But now popular vacation spots like Singapore, Fiji, Phuket, and Bangkok that weren’t scheduled until December or next year will be brought several weeks forward.
Singapore will be the first destination to reopen with flights restarting on November 23 – four weeks ahead of schedule.
International travel will kickstart weeks ahead of schedule with flights soon reopening to five major holiday destinations including Singapore and Fiji (stock image of a beach at Phuket)
Fiji will be next with flights beginning on December 7 – instead of December 19.
Johannesburg will welcome arrivals from January 5, Phuket from January 12 and Bangkok from January 14.
Qantas will also be launching a new route between Sydney and Delhi. Flights will begin from December 6.
Plans are also underway to reopen flights to Bali in time for Christmas.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said it was big news for Australia that many of their favourite holiday spots were accessible again.
‘This 20 [past] months is probably the darkest period in Qantas’ 100-year history,’ he told reporters at Sydney Airport.
Singapore will be the first destination to reopen with flights restarting on November 23 – four weeks ahead of schedule
‘It has meant we have had to ground aircraft, stand down people and restructure the business. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.
‘It is very clear that because Australians have rolled up their sleeves and taken the jab, we can see that light.’
A new route between Sydney and New Delhi will launch on December 6 with three flights a week.
Flights to Honolulu, Vancouver, Tokyo, and New Zealand are still scheduled to commence from mid-December 2021, with other destinations to restart in the new year.
All travellers will have to be fully vaccinated and will be required to test negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of departure.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised the high vaccination for fast-tracking the restart of international arrivals.
International travel from Sydney to Bangkok, Thailand, will restart from January 14
‘The national plan was all about opening up Australia safely so we can remain safely open, and that’s what we are seeing here today,’ he said.
‘And that means planes get back in the sky.’
Around 70.8 per cent of residents over the age of 16 have received both doses of the vaccine.
‘Australians have prepared for this day, and I’m looking forward to people coming back to Australia and leaving Australia as well, and enjoying the things they did before,’ Mr Morrison said.
All 11,000 of the airline’s staff stood down without pay, about half its workforce, will return to work by early December as domestic and international flying returns to more normal levels, the airline said.
Fiji will be next with flights beginning on December 7 – instead of December 19
Qantas will bring back two of its flagship Airbus SE A380 super-jumbos in April – three months earlier than planned.
The airline is also in talks with Boeing about the delivery of three new 787-9s in storage to accelerate its international flight plans.
Mr Joyce said for four of the past five weeks, the airline’s international sales were stronger than domestic sales for the first time since the pandemic began.
‘There is massive demand for Australians wanting to see their family and relatives,’ he said.
‘There is massive demand for loved ones wanting to get together for Christmas. There is demand for people wanting to take that holiday that they have been looking forward to for nearly two years.’