Qantas has quietly revealed that it will resume flights to six overseas destinations, as Australia’s international border restrictions finally fall, including a number of additional services from Brisbane.
It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia’s borders are set to finally reopen to fully vaccinated tourists and visa holders from 21 February, marking the first time the country has fully eased its international border restrictions since these were introduced in March 2020.
Beginning this week, from 16 February, the Flying Kangaroo will return to its Sydney-Dallas Fort Worth route as QF7, along with the return leg QF8, both operated by its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
According to FlightAware, the last time Qantas operated QF7 was 25 March 2020, while QF8 operated for the last time the following day.
Then from 27 March, Qantas will reinstate its Brisbane-Singapore, Sydney-Manila and Sydney-Jakarta routes, and the following day resume Sydney-Denpasar (Bali) flights – as previously suggested.
Qantas is also gearing up to restart daily flights connecting Brisbane and Los Angeles on its Airbus A330 aircraft from 1 April.
The news comes as Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David revealed that bookings for inbound flights to Australia doubled within one day of the Prime Minister’s border announcement.
“Bookings are strongest out of the US and UK, and we’ve also seen spikes from South Africa, India and Canada, with March, April and May the most popular months for travel,” he said.
“This shows how much people want to come to Australia.”
It comes after Dubai-based carrier Emirates announced it will double its capacity on its Dubai-Sydney route, increasing to two return services per day on its iconic Airbus A380 aircraft, from 1 March.
The new additional flights mean Emirates can fly over 1,000 people into the NSW capital per day.
Earlier this month, Emirates announced it had also resumed A380 services to and from Melbourne, replacing its Boeing 777-300ER on daily flights between Melbourne and Dubai, after first reinstating its daily A380 services to Sydney in December.
Meanwhile, British Airways also announced this week it will be kickstarting its Sydney to London route again in March, after a two-year pause due to the pandemic.
The first flight, BA15, is scheduled to land in Sydney on 29 March, and will continue to operate five times per week from then.
Services will then increase to daily from 1 April, the airline said.
All services will be operated on a Boeing 787-9 aircraft, or a Boeing 777-300(ER), according to the schedule.