Qantas reopens bookings for international destinations

Aussie travellers could be back in the skies and heading overseas in just six months after Qantas reopened bookings for its international network.

Tickets from July 1, 2021 are now on sale and ready to be snapped up.

Destinations include London, the US, Hong Kong and Singapore.

New Zealand is the only country on Qantas’ overseas timetable through to the end of March.

A spokesperson from the airline told 7NEWS.com.au it has “aligned the selling of our international services to reflect our expectation that international travel will begin to restart from July 2021.”

File image of Qantas plane.
File image of Qantas plane. Credit: Gregg Porteous/AAP

“We continue to review and update our international schedule in response to the developing COVID-19 situation,” the spokesperson said.

Despite the reopening of bookings, the federal government has not indicated when overseas travel will resume.

Currently, any Australian who wants to leave the country needs to apply for an exemption.

Travellers returning to Australia are also required to undertake a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine stay at their own expense.

A Qantas flight is seen over Sydney Harbour.
A Qantas flight is seen over Sydney Harbour. Credit: AAP

Back in November, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said Australians travelling on the airline will need to be vaccinated in order to fly.

“For international travellers, we will ask people to have a vaccination before they get on the aircraft,’’ Joyce said.

“Certainly, for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country we think that’s a necessity.”

Vaccine rollout

Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicated on Tuesday that Australia will be sticking to its COVID vaccine rollout timetable to avoid taking any unnecessary risks.

The federal government is facing questions about why vaccines it has ordered have not yet been given regulatory approval and rolled out, despite them being used overseas.

Morrison said the vaccines were being used in emergency situations overseas and a number of countries were reporting “quite a few problems” with the rollout.

“We have our scheduled timetable,” Morrison told 3AW radio on Tuesday.

Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce.
Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce. Credit: Dean Lewins/AAP

“We are moving as swiftly and safely as can be done.

“Australia is not in an emergency situation ... so we don’t have to take unnecessary risks.”

The first vaccines are expected to be approved later this month, with the prime minister saying Australia would be “well into the vaccine” in the first quarter of the year.

He said it was important all Australians had “total confidence” in the vaccines.

More than 12.3 million vaccine doses have so far been administered across 30 countries, including 4.33 million in the United States and 4.5 million in China, according to an analysis by Bloomberg.

Australia has agreements with Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Novavax.

SCG Test

Meanwhile, the New South Wales government has slashed the number of fans allowed into the SCG for this week’s third Test amid Sydney’s coronavirus outbreak.

Originally slated to operate at 50 per cent of its capacity, that has been halved again to 25 per cent.

The Australian Medical Association had led calls for the match to be played in front of empty stands because of the risk it could be a super-spreading event.

Instead, roughly 10,000 fans will be allowed into the ground when the Test begins on Thursday, January 7.

- With AAP



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