Qantas has announced that the airline will cancel all international flights until March 2021 with the exception of New Zealand bound connections.

The reservations systems are already partly reflecting these changes as flights have been pulled from the general availability and can no longer be booked.

This decision escalates Australia’s policy to isolate the country further and also prevents it’s citizens from leaving the country unless they’ve obtained special clearance in order to be allowed to leave for “essential travel”.

As John wrote a few days ago Australia has now also begun to charge returning citizens for their quarantine measures which means costs of AU$3000 per returning pax (discounts for families available).

In another sign that holidays overseas will be off the cards until well into 2021, Qantas have officially removed international flight bookings – bar New Zealand – from their website until March 28, 2021.

Pulling of all international inventory comes weeks after Group CEO Alan Joyce announced that services overseas wouldn’t likely resume for another 12 months. …

The closing of flights and changing of bookings isn’t unexpected, given Mr Joyce signaled that all international flying would be suspended until the middle of 2021.

Last month, the national carrier announced it was grounding 100 aircraft in the US’s Mojave Desert, had axed at least 20 per cent of its workforce and parked some of the airline’s fleet of A380s (used for flagship international routes) for “at least three years”.

Mr Joyce said that while a trans-Tasman route may be operational before mid-2021, other popular routes around the world won’t restart “in any real size (until) July next year”.

“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,” Mr Joyce said, adding it would be “years before international flying returns to what it was” for the airline.

Qantas itself has yet to update it’s website with the new wave of cancellations

The only information forthcoming from Qantas right now is that their international flights are suspended until the end of October 2020. It doesn’t look like the majority of Australians will be traveling abroad anytime soon and this information was last updated on July 3, 2020.

Conclusion

Australia has been especially rigid with the fight against the Coronavirus at both it’s external and internal borders between states. The Qantas CEO that a wind down of the schedule would likely be forthcoming and the airline also unveiled plans to let of go of thousands of employees as the airline becomes pretty much a domestic carrier.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Qantas is not the only airline that has to implement widespread cancellations of the international flight programme as there is still no clear way forward in the fight against Covid-19.

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