Qantas and Virgin Australia will operate a total of 13 flights per week, to bring stranded Australians home from coronavirus-stricken countries. The Australian Government has agreed to subsidise most, but not all, of the cost of the services during the coronavirus crisis. Passengers on-board will pay a given amount as mandated by the airline.

Qantas

The flights can only be booked through qantas.com. All passengers returning to Australia will be subject to two-weeks of supervised quarantine, like all other overseas arrivals. Australian citizens cannot depart Australia, only foreign nationals.

Customers will not be able to book into particular cabins, such as business or premium economy, with a set fare for everyone.

  • London – Melbourne (via Perth)
  • 10 return flights per week for the foreseeable future
  • (NO disembarkation in Perth)
  • $1500 AUD ($900 USD) per seat
  • Los Angeles – Brisbane
  • 1 return flight per week
  • $1000 AUD ($600 USD) per seat
  • Hong Kong – Melbourne
  • 2 return flights per week
  • $1000 AUD ($600 USD) per seat
  • Hong Kong – Brisbane
  • 2 return flights per week
  • $1000 AUD ($600 USD) per seat
  • Auckland – Melbourne
  • 2 return flights per week
  • $300-400 AUD ($180-240 USD) per seat
  • Auckland – Brisbane
  • 2 return flights per week
  • $300-400 AUD ($180-240 USD) per seat

It is understood that none of the flights are going to Sydney, because the government wants to spread quarantine to other states.

Qantas will use their Boeing 787-9s to operate the services but because of a pause in licensing arrangements, by the airline to save money during the coronavirus crisis, seat-back in-flight entertainment screens will not be in operation.

A basic food and drink service will be provided and there will be no frequent flyer points or status credits applied for the flights.

“Qantas is proud to be operating repatriation flights for the Australian Government. Maintaining strategic air connections from Australia to hubs in the UK, US, Hong Kong and New Zealand will enable essential travel and freight to continue during this crisis,”

Qantas Group spokesman
Qantas-operated repatriation flights

Virgin Australia

  • Los Angeles – Brisbane
  • 1 return flight per week
  • Price unknown
  • Hong Kong – Brisbane
  • 2 return flights per week
  • Price unknown

“We are pleased to support the government in getting Australians home and maintain important freight links into the country.”

Virigin Australia spokeswoman
Virgin Australia-operated repatriation flights

Under the deal with the government, Australian taxpayers will cover the cost of the outbound flights and any shortfall in the cost of operating the inbound flights.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the services would build on the $1 billion AUD ($601 million) in support the government had already committed to Australia’s aviation industry.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne, said that constructive discussions were continuing, with Virgin Australia and Qantas, about other services to less accessible destinations, like South America and the Pacific Islands.

Just to reiterate, under current travel restrictions, Australian citizens (including dual-citizens with an Australian passport) CANNOT leave Australia.

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