Qantas targets December international flights after AU$1.8bn loss

posted on 26th August 2021 by Eddie Saunders
Qantas targets December international flights after AU$1.8bn loss

By Edward Thicknesse |

Australian carrier Qantas said that it was aiming to restart flights to international destinations with high rates of vaccination in December after falling to a AU$1.8bn (£950m) annual loss.

Under current plans, the airline will recommence flying to countries such as Singapore, Japan, the United States, Britain and hopefully New Zealand by the end of the year.

But it will not restart services to countries with lower rates of inoculation, like Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and South Africa, before April 2022.
The plans will be contingent on the Australian government deciding to lift its currently draconian border controls.

Australians have been banned from leaving the country without an exemption since March 2020, all but crippling the carrier.

Last month ministers said that 80 per cent of the population would have to be fully vaccinated for borders to begin being reopened.

At the moment just 24.9 per cent of people have received both doses, according to Our World In Data.

Although he did not set a target date, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he believed the figure could be hit by the end of 2021.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said that the return of travel demand would be contingent on quarantine requirements for those entering Australia.

“One of the biggest unknowns is the quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers entering Australia.

“If it’s 14 days in a hotel, demand levels will be very low. A shorter period with additional testing and the option to isolate at home will see a lot more people travel.”

He added that he expected the total hit from Covid to Qantas’ revenue to grow to AU$20bn by the end of the year.