Australian air carrier Qantas is aiming to restart international flight services from July 2021. However, Qantas’ aim has received reproach from the Australian government.
On January 5, 2021, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said that “the decisions about when international travel resumes will be made by Australian Government”.
„International borders will be opened when international arrivals do not pose a risk to Australians,” McCormack added.
The government’s statement appeared after Qantas Airways opened ticket sales to international destinations, as the positive news about the COVID-19 vaccine worldwide rollout gave hope that the spread of coronavirus infection would be halted.
“Recently we have aligned the selling of our international services to reflect our expectation that international travel will begin to restart from July 2021,” Qantas spokesperson told Bloomberg. “We continue to review and update our international schedule in response to the developing Covid-19 situation.”
Earlier in 2020, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce announced plans to make vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory for international air travelers once the vaccine was widely available, saying that such measurements would be a necessity if the air travel wanted to reach pre-covid conditions.
Currently, Qantas is serving limited international flights, mainly to repatriate Australian citizens stuck overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic. The only travellers allowed to Australia are those who have been in New Zealand for more than 14 days, according to Australia’s Department of Health.