Qantas has dramatically brought forward its planned restart of flights to numerous international destinations, in a move that will see all Australian-based staff returned to their roles by December.
Qantas had previously stated over 10,000 staff remained stood-down across the group, including 6,000 working in international operations, as border restrictions continued to suppress demand.
The airline announced on Friday that it will bring forward its planned return to flights from Australia to Singapore, Fiji, Johannesburg, Phuket and Bangkok, as well as introduce a brand new direct route between Sydney and Delhi.
The decision comes after NSW Premier Dominic Perrottett announced last week that fully vaccinated overseas arrivals would no longer be required to perform any form of quarantine when returning to the state.
Qantas stated that this decision to axe all quarantine requirements for double-jabbed Australians has significantly increased demand for overseas travel, allowing for a faster ramp up in international operations than previously planned.
The airline’s new route from Sydney to Delhi will begin on 6 December 2021, with three planned return flights per week on its Airbus A330 aircraft, with capacity expected to build to daily flights on this route by the end of the year – subject to regulatory approvals from Indian authorities.
Flights from Sydney to Delhi will involve one layover in Darwin, while the Delhi to Sydney leg will be nonstop.
The new route has been introduced to cater to the nearly 700,000 Indian migrants living in Australia, as well as their parents, who will soon be allowed to apply for an exemption to enter Australia as non-residents.
The route will continue until at least late March 2022, however, this could become a permanent part of Qantas’ international network, should demand require.
Meanwhile Qantas has dramatically brought forward its planned flights to a number of international destinations.
The airline will begin flying Sydney to Singapore from 23 November, four weeks earlier than planned. Initially this service will be three times per week on A330 aircraft, which will ramp up to daily from 18 December.
Jetstar will also begin flying from both Melbourne and Darwin to Singapore from 16 December.
Qantas has also stated flights from Sydney to Fiji will be brought forward to 7 December 2021, 12 days earlier than previously announced. It will begin flying four return flights per week on a Boeing 737.
Meanwhile Jetstar will resume flights to Fiji from 17 December.
Qantas will perform three return flights per week from Sydney to Johannesburg from 5 January 2022, three months earlier than scheduled on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as well as five return flights per week to Bangkok on its A330s from 14 January 2022, two months ahead of schedule.
The airline will also return to Phuket on 12 January 2022, over two months earlier than planned, and perform three return flights per week on its Dreamliner.
The airline will also return 10 of its 12 Airbus A380s ahead of schedule and is in discussions with Boeing to accelerate the delivery of three brand new 787 Dreamliners.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said, “In recent weeks, sales on international flights to and from Sydney have outstripped sales on domestic flights, which shows how important certainty is to people when making travel plans.
“While these flights will initially be for Australians and their families, we expect tourists from Singapore, South Africa and India to take advantage of these flights once borders reopen to international visitors, which is great news for the industry.
“Given the strong ties between Australia and India, flights between Sydney and Delhi have been on our radar for some time, and we think there will be strong demand from family and friends wanting to reconnect once borders open.”