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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Forget about that overseas holiday – Qantas pulls all international flights until MARCH of next year

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All international flights have been pulled from the Qantas website, including routes to New Zealand

Australia’s national carrier has removed the international travel until March 28, 2021, as of Tuesday.

Flights to New Zealand are now unavailable until September 1, despite rumour the neighbouring country was preparing to open the trans-Tasman bubble with Australia.

Travel between the countries has been suspended throughout the pandemic after New Zealand closed its borders to the world on March 19.

The international flight suspension follows Qantas grounding its fleet of double-decker A380 plans for at least three years as well, and retiring six Boeing 747s, Executive Traveller reported

The international flight suspension follows Qantas grounding its fleet of double-decker A380 plans for at least three years as well, and retiring six Boeing 747s, Executive Traveller reported

Flights to New Zealand are now unavailable despite rumour the country was preparing to open the trans-Tasman bubble. Pictured:  New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Flights to New Zealand are now unavailable despite rumour the country was preparing to open the trans-Tasman bubble. Pictured:  New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

A Qantas spokesman told Daily Mail Australia ‘all international and sale flights have been removed from the website’ until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He did not confirm whether flights to New Zealand would resume from September 1, just that they were able to be viewed on the Qantas website.

‘There are some international flights in the system but they are not currently operating,’ he said.

‘We have nothing else to add’.   

Travellers looking to head overseas can still book trips through the Qantas website, however. 

Flights to the US, Asia and Europe will now be serviced with partner airlines, including Emirates, British Airways and Cathay Pacific, according to Executive Traveller.

The move was designed to prevent new bookings being made with Qantas. All previous flights will remain in place, it reported. 

Qantas’ decision comes just weeks after the airline slashed 6,000 jobs – 20 per cent of its workforce – and chief executive Alan Joyce predicted international flights were unlikely to resume until July 2021.

‘We have never experienced anything like this before – no-one has. All airlines are in the biggest crisis our industry has ever faced,’ he said in June.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce (pictured) predicted international flights were unlikely to resume until July 2021

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce (pictured) predicted international flights were unlikely to resume until July 2021

‘Revenues have collapsed, entire fleets are grounded and the world biggest carriers are taking extreme action just to survive.

‘IATA –the peak body for airlines – says it will take more than three years for global travel to return to 2019 levels.’    

The international flight suspension follows the carrier grounding its fleet of double-decker A380 plans for at least three years as well, and retiring six Boeing 747s, Executive Traveller reported. 

Airlines still travelling to and from Australia with cargo and essential travellers include Delta, United, Air New Zealand and Qatar Airways, the Australian Embassy confirmed. 

Airlines still travelling to and from Australia with cargo and essential travellers include Delta, United, Air New Zealand and Qatar Airways, the Australian Embassy confirmed

Airlines still travelling to and from Australia with cargo and essential travellers include Delta, United, Air New Zealand and Qatar Airways, the Australian Embassy confirmed

Delta started its Los Angeles to Sydney route on July 1 and United has been operating its San Francisco to Sydney route throughout the pandemic, Executive Traveller reported.

The later airline also hopes to fly 25 per cent of its international flights by August. 

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said in June Australia’s borders were likely to remain closed for another four months.

He said the government was unlikely to reopen the border to international travellers until next year – but would look to relax entry rules for students and other long-term visitors. 

‘We can simply work through the 14-day quarantine periods that have worked so well in terms of returning Australians to this country safely,’ Mr Birmingham said in a speech to the National Press Club. 

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