Qantas to bring forward restart of international flights to November

Qantas will operate three weekly return flights between Sydney and London starting Nov 14. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Qantas Airways said on Friday (Oct 1) it would restart some international flights a month earlier than planned after the Australian government said fully vaccinated Australians could enter and leave the country freely from next month.

Qantas will operate three weekly return flights between Sydney and London and three weekly return flights between Sydney and Los Angeles starting Nov 14 and add more flights if there is enough demand, the airline said.

Passengers will be required to quarantine at home for seven days upon arrival in Australia. The Australian government on Friday indicated that some of its eight states and territories would open earlier than others.

"We welcome the federal government's decision and the work by the New South Wales government to facilitate the home quarantine approach that makes this feasible," Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said. "We look forward to other states and territories getting on board."

New South Wales is home to Australia's most populous city, Sydney.

Qantas said it had already sold out some of its international flights for December and it had seen strong demand for London and Los Angeles.

The airline grounded its international fleet in March last year and has operated only freight and repatriation flights since, with the exception of a short-lived quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand.

Rival Virgin Australia, which does far less international flying, did not announce any schedule changes but said it would continue to add flights as travel demand increased and restrictions eased.

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