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Friday, February 3, 2023

Qantas brings forward international start date once again

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After the Australian government confirmed that borders will open on that day, Qantas will resume international flights much sooner than predicted, on November 1, 2021.

The government of New South Wales has also lifted quarantine rules for fully vaccinated visitors, which is a further advantage for Qantas.

Using its Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the Australian flag airline will operate up to five return flights a week from Sydney to London via Darwin and up to four return flights a week from Sydney to Los Angeles. If necessary, the airline said it can add more flights to accommodate demand.

“Bringing forward the reopening of Australia to the world and removing quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers entering New South Wales is a massive step towards life as we knew it,” chief executive Alan Joyce commented in a press release on October 15, 2021.

Joyce continued: “We have thousands of our pilots and cabin crew wanting to get back to work and they will be thrilled at today’s announcement. It will still be a long time before international travel returns to normal but this is a fantastic start.”

The airline announced on October 1, 2021, that international flights would resume on November 14, 2021. On October 15, 2021, Qantas announced that travelers who have previously booked and wish to move their trip date ahead will be able to do so without paying a change fee.

The flights, however, will initially be restricted to Australian citizens or permanent residents, as well as their close families. All passengers aged 12 and up must also be completely vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Qantas.

Qantas provides the following information for passengers:

All passengers (aged 12 and up) flying Qantas foreign flights will be obliged to be completely vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine (unless they have an exemption).

Customers on certain flights will also be required to return a negative COVID test from an approved PCR testing laboratory 72 hours prior to departure, as per government regulations.

In the coming days, the NSW Government will provide information on what additional tests will be required upon arrival.

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