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Qantas Drops International Flights Through March 2021

Qantas A380, Flickr/ERIC SALARD

Australian carrier Qantas is grounding their international flights through the rest of 2020 and into the next year, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the travel space. Although flyers can still book international trips through the airline, they will be serviced by partner airlines.

International flyers hoping to visit Australia before 2021 won’t be able to do it with Qantas. Executive Traveller reports the airline has pulled all international flights from their website through March 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemmic continues to ravage the travel space.

Flights to London, New York and Other Destinations Off the Table

As it currently stands, flights are not yet cancelled, nor are previous bookings being returned to customers. Instead, the airline is no long accepting bookings on future international flights on Qantas aircraft. Instead, flyers booking through the carrier are being directed to flights aboard partner airlines, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Emirates.

Because the airline is no longer accepting bookings, the next reasonable conclusion is that Qantas will ultimately cancel scheduled flights. Excluded from this international ban is New Zealand, which declared themselves “COVID-19 Free” on June 8, 2020. Since then, at least two travelers presenting with the viral infection arrived in the island nation.

The move comes weeks after Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told Executive Traveller he did not expect international travel to resume at any significant level until next year. His comments reflect those of analysts, many of whom also agree that airlines may not resume normal operations until 2021 at the earliest.

“We might get trans-Tasman (travel) before then, we may get other nations opening up with bubbles,” Joyce said, as quoted by Executive Traveller. “”We have to be realistic about it and say with what’s happening in the rest of the globe it is probably an extended period of time.”

Other Airlines Reducing Focus on International Travel

Qantas is not the only carrier concerned that COVID-19 will ground international travelers for the foreseeable future. In Delta Air Lines’ second quarter report, the airline noted that international traffic was down between 52 percent and 69 percent. For the Pacific region, total passenger traffic dropped to 59 percent.

corbetti July 21, 2020

maybe someone will come out and explicitly say how much a human life is worth, and at what age. That would help with the calculus of how many should we let die vs the cost to the economies of locking down. It's always about the money, right?

ND Sol July 20, 2020

Lucanesque, I assume you pulled your info from an article in The Economist, which you read wrong. The article stated, "The median covid-19 sufferer in America is a 48-year-old". That is the median age for cases, not deaths. The article the Economist linked to is https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6924e2-H.pdf . Also from a similar CDC study, "Median decedent age was 78 years", which makes your statement off by 30 years. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6928e1.htm . What you said about Listerone can be said about you, "what a ridiculous thing to say".

ednumrich July 18, 2020

OZFLYER86's comment ("Only the unhealthy die") falls into the "superspreader" category. Not of COVID19, however, which is odorless . . .

OZFLYER86 July 18, 2020

Listerone is 100% correct. Only the unhealthy die. Elderly are all unhealthy & shouldn't be going anywhere. Qantas talk of March start to international is a conn. They have an agenda to lower their costs, which makes sense. Think we'll see flights to NZ from Australia unrestricted in 6 weeks & well before Xmas to most destinations ex Australia on Qantas & other airlines. Might not be pre corona schedule though. Maybe 50-75% of previous years schedule.

apeortdz July 17, 2020

@Lucanesque what a ridiculous thing to say. The world economy has been decimated. Most of us are suffering economically in a bad way. A few deaths is a fair price to pay.