At the start of the year the CEO of Qantas said Australia would re-open its borders and allow the re-start of travel July 1. The government of Australia pushed back – not on the date, as much as over who gets to make that announcement.
But as the Covid-19 pandemic has raged on, new variants have become cause for greater concern, and Australia has only just begun vaccinations on a very small scale in the past week, Qantas admits July 1 isn’t going to happen and pushed back the re-start of its international route network further.
- They’ll grow their New Zealand flying July 1
- Most international routes will start October 31
- New York, Osaka, and Santiago will have to wait, and the airline won’t take its next 3 Boeing 787 deliveries until these routes re-open.
- The Airbus A380 won’t return until June 30, 2023 ‘at the earliest’ so international flights will all be operated by Airbus A330s and Boeing 787s.
An October 31 re-start targets expected completion of all Australian citizens who want a vaccine being able to get one, and Qantas has already said they’ll require proof of vaccination to fly.
I have a couple of Australia award itineraries (which were always speculative at best) affected by this change. I’ll need to see about getting award space opened on other later flights, once these flights show up as cancelled in my reservations.