Qantas Airways is gearing up to resume flights from Sydney to Bangkok and Phuket from early next year, with the Aussie airline keen to get the ball rolling as international travel restrictions are gradually being lifted. Sydney is set to see the resumption of regular routes in January, more than two months ahead of schedule, as both the federal and state governments have moved to pave the way for the reopening of international borders. The New South Wales government has confirmed that quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated arrivals will be removed from November 1.
While ahead of schedule, it will nonetheless be a staged resumption of services, with the Australian government requiring that initial flights are limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and parents. In the Covid-19 climate, however, any progress takes on additional significance, with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce labelling it “the best news we’ve had in almost two years”. Joyce added that “it will make a massive difference to thousands of our people who finally get to fly again”.
The following international flights are slated to be up and running next year:
- Sydney to Bangkok: flights will resume on January 14, with five return flights a week.
- Sydney to Phuket: Jetstar flights will resume on January 12, with three return flights a week.
The move comes as vaccination rates continue to climb in Australian states and territories. According to the Australian government, as of yesterday, 86.8% of people over the age of 16 have had at least one vaccine dose, with 73.4% fully vaccinated.
“Australians rolling up their sleeves means our planes and our people are getting back to work much earlier than we expected.”
As the post-lockdown landscape continues to take shape, travellers from all corners of Australia will doubtless be keeping a keen eye on further announcements from both governments and airlines.
SOURCE: Sky News
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