Qantas sets date for international flights to US, UK, Fiji and more
The airline has confirmed December 2021 dates for you to return to international skies.
Qantas has confirmed to Yahoo Finance exactly when the airline will resume flying to destinations, including North America, the UK and parts of Asia.
A spokesperson for Qantas told Yahoo Finance that the airline has scheduled flights to London, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Singapore commencing from 18 December.
The next day, 19 December, will see flights re-commencing to Tokyo and Fiji.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce previously announced in late August that Qantas was eyeing mid-December for flights to some destinations to resume.
The airline's goal is still subject to Australia reaching 80% of adults vaccinated, which would trigger the National Cabinet's "Phase C" allowing a gradual reopening of international borders.
Current projections have us meeting that target in December. The airline is itching to resume international flights as it reported a whopping $1.7 billion loss after tax for the 2021 financial year.
Qantas's confirmation follows announcements by international airlines this week, including Hawaiian Airlines, which announced plans to resume flights to Sydney and Brisbane from 15 December; and Air Canada, which announced that it will resume flights between Sydney and Vancouver from 17 December.
Following Qantas' news the Qantas (QAN) stock price closed flat.
Which routes are scheduled to restart?
|Sydney to London||18 December 2021|
|Melbourne to London||18 December 2021|
|Sydney to Los Angeles||18 December 2021|
|Sydney to Vancouver||18 December 2021|
|Sydney to Singapore||18 December 2021|
|Melbourne to Singapore||18 December 2021|
|Melbourne to Los Angeles||19 December 2021|
|Brisbane to Los Angeles||19 December 2021|
|Sydney to Honolulu||19 December 2021|
|Brisbane to Singapore||19 December 2021|
|Sydney to Tokyo||19 December 2021|
|Sydney to Fiji||19 December 2021|
Qantas previously announced that a majority of these routes will be serviced by Boeing 787s and Airbus A330s while flights to Fiji will be serviced by 737s and A320s.
The airline is also looking to add Darwin as an additional (or alternative, depending on Western Australian border controls) hub for non-stop flights between Australia and London.
Additionally, Qantas is hopeful that the two-way Australia and New Zealand travel bubble will restart in mid-December. New Zealand closed the bubble on 23 July due to outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria, and the country is now dealing with its own outbreak.
When can you book Qantas international flights?
There's no word yet on when you'll be able to start making plans and booking international flights with Qantas.
"It's obviously up to government exactly how and when our international borders re-open," Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.
"But with Australia on track to meet the 80% trigger agreed by National Cabinet by the end of the year, we need to plan ahead for what is a complex restart process."
There may also be quarantine requirements upon your return. One suggestion that has been floated is a 7-day hotel quarantine for vaccinated travellers, down from the current 14-day quarantine requirement, but these details are still being finalised.
In the meantime, Aussies can do their part and get vaccinated – you may pick up a reward from Qantas in the process.
Where else is Qantas looking to fly to?
Qantas is focusing its initial efforts on destinations with high or increasing vaccination rates, as they'll be more likely to be classed as low-risk countries for Aussies to be able to visit and return from.
|United Kingdom||Mid-December 2021|
|New Zealand||Mid-December 2021|
|Los Angeles||July 2022|
|London (via Singapore)||November 2022|
|Hong Kong||February 2022|
|Ho Chi Minh City||April 2022|
Which international destinations are off the table for now?
Destinations that have lower vaccination rates and higher levels of COVID-19 infections will be pushed from the December 2021 goal.
However, the good news is, you may be able to book travel to these locations, taking off from April 2022.
"The prospect of flying overseas might feel a long way off, especially with New South Wales and Victoria in lockdown, but the current pace of the vaccine rollout means we should have a lot more freedom in a few months' time," said Joyce.
Capacity on international flights will depend on government decisions and any hotel quarantine requirements for vaccinated travellers.
Will this affect flexibility or Qantas Status Credits?
Qantas only recently extended its "Fly Flexible" policy, which offers customers who book international flights before 28 February 2022 unlimited "fee free" date changes when travelling before 31 December 2022. You may have to pay the fare difference.
Note: This article was originally published on 26 August 2021 when Qantas first announced it was planning to resume international flights. We've updated the article to reflect that Qantas has now announced dates for when certain routes will resume.