australian aviation logo

WA needs to ‘give us certainty’, urges Joyce amid border closures

written by Isabella Richards | February 1, 2022

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is urging the Western Australian government to provide certainty on opening its borders as the backflip of plans is costing the airline millions.

In an interview with SkyNews, Joyce said the Omicron variant has forced a reduction in schedule, and with WA not opening as planned, the company’s pre-pandemic levels have dropped to 60 per cent domestically.

“That costs us millions of dollars; having a plan that we were committing to on the basis of what the Western Australian government told,” Joyce said.

“So, we’re hoping now the Western Australian government can give us certainty about when things will open.”


It comes almost two weeks after WA Premiere Mark McGowan announced the delay of the state’s borders reopening, which was set for 5 February.

The premiere said Omicron is a “whole new ball game” and “we can’t just shut our eyes and hope that it is different”.

In response to a question about the specific number the border closures have cost Qantas, Joyce said more details will be disclosed when the company releases its half yearly results by the end of February.

The WA government has remained one of the strictest states in Australia during the pandemic and has imposed rapid border closures amid new variants.

As international flights opened up in November last year, plans for the iconic Perth-London route starting up again were detailed that same month, with McGowan promising they would resume this year.

However, with the borders remaining shut until further notice, Joyce said he has “no real certainty of whether that will open”, also including the Perth-Rome route.

During this time, the Northern Territory government has “successfully” operated the London service allowing the route to go through Darwin.

Joyce said if McGowan extends the pause of reopening past March, Qantas will make a call in the coming week of whether the company will preserve flights to London through Darwin.

The CEO said Darwin is reaching its peak season and Qantas will need assurance soon.

The comments came just after Qantas inaugurated its newest Flight Training Centre in Brisbane on Monday.

It will soon begin training up to 900 pilots per year across the centre’s four state-of-the-art simulators.

At the event, Joyce said he hoped international borders will fully reopen to tourists before Easter, as per what Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested last week.





You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

Comments (3)

  • Lynden Kemp


    Mr Joyce needs to understand that “certainty” is at this point in time not possible anywhere in the World or with any Airline!
    Yes it is very difficult times for Airlines around the World not only in Australia however if shortcuts are taken simply to appease an Airline it could infact further damage that Airline in a very short period of time.
    We all want a stable and safe environment but frankly that does not seem likely until 2023 and then if “lady luck” looks after us!

  • Barry


    McClown couldn’t care less about QANTAS losing millions’ $ in revenue.

    It’s all about him.

    Doesn’t the Fed Govt have powers to force him to open up?

    This is the trouble with this whole pandemic situation being handled by individual States.
    It should’ve been brought under total Fed Govt control from the get go.

    Hopefully lesson has been learnt for next time of health crisis.

    • JMac


      It’s not “McClown”s job to care about QF making money. I’m in WA. I’m not happy about the closures. My business has been damaged. I absolutely want to know an opening date. But I look at the real bottom line: NSW deaths – 1487, VIC deaths – 2088, WA deaths – 9.

      Fed Govt can’t do it. They’re at the cricket.

      That thud you didn’t hear was my Mic drop.

Comments are closed.

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.