Qantas has opted to cancel all international flights, excluding New Zealand routes, until October. The announcement came in the wake of the Australian Government’s decision to keep its borders closed for another four months.
In a media statement, a Qantas spokeswoman confirmed that the airline will continue to operate flights across the Tasman Sea; ahead of the likely introduction of a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.
“With Australia’s borders set to remain closed for some time, we have cancelled most international flights until late October. Should travel between Australia and other countries open up and demand returns, we can add more flights back into our schedule,”Qantas Spokeswoman
Until recently, Qantas has been operating services to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Los Angeles and London to keep essential freight and repatriation links open. Moving forward, all these flights will be grounded.
Qantas grounded 99% of their international flights in mid-May and has cancelled over 95% of domestic services. CEO Alan Joyce has since detailed plans to return to 15% domestic capacity by the end of June.
Qantas will be sending half of its Airbus A380 fleet to storage in Victorville, according to airline sources. Although the airline plans to keep their A380s grounded for some time, the six refurbished aircraft will be the first to return to service.
Boeing 747 May Never Return
Qantas sources have told SamChui.com that Qantas B747-400ER’s currently in ‘temporary’ storage in the Mojave desert are “unlikely” to return to Australia.
Qantas has been quietly sending multiple aircraft to the Mojave Air and Space Port during the downturn of international travel. However, these aircraft may only return to Australia for a final farewell flight, if at all.
Australia’s Borders to Remain Closed
Speaking to reporters, Australian Trade and Tourism Minister, Simon Birmingham, announced that tourism in and out of Australia is unlikely to resume until early 2021. However, Mr Birmingham noted that entry restrictions could ease for overseas students or long-term visitors.
Moving forward, anyone entering Australia will have to enter a two week quarantine (excluding airline crews and foreign diplomats).
“Having international border restrictions in place has probably been the most important decision we took to keep Australia safe from COVID-19 and to avoid the scenes of mass graves we saw in New York…and we are just going to have to continue to live with those international border restrictions because that is a key to keeping us safe,”Simon Birmingham, Trade Minister of Australia (SOURCE: AAP)
We will continue to provide significant updates on SamChui.com
Article Sources: AAP (via Yahoo/9News), Executive Traveller