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Qantas CEO Alan Joyce announced on Friday that flights from Sydney would begin to resume from as early as the end of November.
Singapore will be the first destination to reopen with flights restarting on November 23 – four weeks ahead of schedule.
Fiji will be next with flights beginning on December 7 – instead of December 19.
Johannesburg will welcome arrivals from January 5, Phuket from January 12 and Bangkok from January 14.
Qantas will also be launching a new route between Sydney and Delhi. Flights will begin from December 6.
International travel will kickstart weeks ahead of schedule with flights soon reopening to five major holiday destinations including Singapore and Fiji (stock image of a beach at Phuket)
Singapore will be the first destination to reopen with flights restarting on November 23 – four weeks ahead of schedule
Plans are also underway to reopen flights to Bali in time for Christmas.
Mr Joyce said it was big news for Australia in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which began in early 2020.
‘This 20 (past) months is probably the darkest period in Qantas’ 100-year history,’ he told reporters at Sydney Airport.
‘It has meant we have had to ground aircraft, stand down people and restructure the business. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.
‘It is very clear that because Australians have rolled up their sleeves and taken the jab, we can see that light.’
A new route between Sydney and New Delhi will launch on December 6 with three flights a week.
Flights to Honolulu, Vancouver, Tokyo and New Zealand are still scheduled to commence from mid-December 2021, with other destinations to restart in the new year.
All travellers will have to be fully vaccinated and will be required to test negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of departure.
Prime minister Scott Morrison praised the high vaccination for fast-tracking the restart of international arrivals.
International travel from Sydney to Bangkok, Thailand, will restart from January 14
Fiji will be next with flights beginning on December 7 – instead of December 19
‘The national plan was all about opening up Australia safely so we can remain safely open, and that’s what we are seeing here today,’ he said. ‘And that means planes get back in the sky.’
Around 70.8 per cent of residents over the age of 16 have received both doses of the vaccine.
‘Australians have prepared for this day, and I’m looking forward to people coming back to Australia and leaving Australia as well, and enjoying the things they did before,’ Mr Morrison said.
All 11,000 of the airline’s staff idled without pay, around half its workforce, will return to work by early December as domestic and international flying returns to more normal levels, the airline said.
Qantas will bring back two of its flagship Airbus SE A380 super-jumbos in April – three months earlier than planned – and is in talks with Boeing Co about the delivery of three new 787-9s in storage to accelerate its international flight plans.
Mr Joyce said for four of the last five weeks, the airline’s international sales were stronger than domestic sales for the first time since the pandemic began.
‘There is massive demand for Australians wanting to see their family and relatives,’ he said.
‘There is massive demand for loved ones wanting to get together for Christmas. There is demand for people wanting to take that holiday that they have been looking forward to for nearly two years.’
More to come