After moving through with plans to begin foreign flights in December, Qantas is set to fly to numerous new international destinations next year.
“We’ll probably try a lot of new routes internationally as certain borders open up,” Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said at a virtual business conference on Tuesday, without giving any specific destinations.
Previously, Joyce mentioned South Korea and Taiwan as possible starting countries based on demand and the construction of Covid-safe travel corridors, which consider high vaccination rates, low community outbreaks, and low quarantine requirements for returning travellers.
Qantas has operated flights to Seoul and Taipei since 1999, including a seasonal service from Brisbane to Seoul during the northern winter of 2005-2006.
As of December 18th, 2021, the airline plans to begin international service, with non-stop service to Singapore, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Vancouver, Fiji, and Honolulu.
Although places with “still low immunisation rates and high levels of Covid infection” – such as Bali, Jakarta and Manila – will not appear on the map until April 2022, cities like Hong Kong and San Francisco, and Dallas/Forth Worth will.
After a two-year hiatus, the Airbus A380s will fly the Sydney-Los Angeles route in July 2022 and the Sydney-Singapore-London route in November.
Additionally, Joyce stated that he wants to rethink the idea of non-stop ‘Project Sunrise’ flights connecting Sydney with London and New York City due to the pandemic.
To complete these 18–20-hour marathons, the airline plans to use a brand-new fleet of ultra-long-range Airbus A350-1000 jets equipped with an extra fuel tank.
Joyce also underlined that the airline would carry only passengers who had had all their required vaccinations on overseas flights.
According to Joyce, quarantine for people returning to Australia is the most pressing concern. He wants people to be able to self-isolate at home before returning a negative test rather than in a hotel.
By Joe Cusmano