October 28, 2021
Qantas Airways Ltd said on Friday it would speed up plans to restart flights to many destinations and use some bigger planes amid “massive demand” for international flying as quarantine restrictions ease for Australian citizens.
All 11,000 of the airline’s staff idled without pay, around half its workforce, will return to work by early December as domestic and international flying returns to more normal levels, the airline said.
Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said that for four of the last five weeks, the airline’s international sales were stronger than domestic sales for the first time since the pandemic began.
The state of New South Wales, home to Sydney, last week said it would allow the entry of fully vaccinated travellers from overseas from Nov. 1 without the need for quarantine, although the easing of strict entry controls will initially benefit only citizens and permanent residents.
Neighbouring Victoria state, home to Australia’s second-largest city Melbourne, on Friday announced a similar policy from Nov. 1.
Joyce said Qantas was also hopeful Indonesia would relax quarantine rules for Australians, allowing its low-cost arm Jetstar to begin flights to Bali by Christmas.
For the airline to make a full recovery in its loss-making international business, Australian rules will need to be eased further to allow international students, business travellers and tourists to enter the country.
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