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Qantas Moves Up International Service Restart to Nov. 1

Qantas has pushed up its planned resumption of international service by two weeks, in line with the Australian and New South Wales’ governments border reopening plans.

The carrier now will start service between Sydney and both London and Los Angeles on Nov. 1, a quicker start than its previously announced date of Nov. 14. The Australian state of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, announced it would begin allowing fully vaccinated international travelers to enter without quarantine on Nov. 1.

For now, the allowance is only for Australian citizens and residents, and the flights will be limited to them and their immediate families. Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week said the federal government still has not come to a decision on when foreign visitors will be allowed in Australia, according to Reuters.

Qantas will start with up to five weekly flights between Sydney and London, via Darwin, and four weekly flights between Sydney and Los Angeles, with more to be added if demand necessitates it, according to Qantas. The carrier plans to start service to Singapore, Fiji and Vancouver on Dec. 18 and other international destinations in 2022, though Qantas is considering pushing up the restart date for some Sydney flights if possible.

Singapore Airlines last week also announced it will expand passenger capacity to Sydney on Nov. 1. The carrier has been operating 17 weekly flights to Sydney with one daily flight for passengers and the rest cargo-only. As of Nov. 1, all of those flights will open for fully vaccinated Australian citizens or residents as passengers.

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Qantas international travel to resume in November, Victoria COVID cases grow, NSW COVID cases grow, NSW regional travel pushed until November 1, Daniel Andrews to stick to Victoria roadmap, ACT COVID cases grow, Anthony Byrne quits intelligence committe after IBAC inquiry

Southern Tasmania, including the capital city of Hobart, will enter a snap three-day lockdown from 6pm today after a COVID-positive man from NSW escaped quarantine and spent time in the community.

As we reported previously, health authorities in Tasmania yesterday identified 38 primary close contacts of a NSW man in Hobart who has tested positive to COVID-19.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The man, a traveller arriving in Tasmania from NSW via Melbourne, was sent to Hobart’s hotel quarantine system upon arrival in the state on Monday. He was found not to be in his room after a welfare check early on Tuesday and located at an address in Bridgewater in Hobart’s northern suburbs.

He subsequently tested positive to COVID-19.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said the state was at a “crucial” point in the vaccination roll-out and could not risk a large coronavirus outbreak taking hold.

He said the man who escaped hotel quarantine had not been forthcoming with information about his movements, which included visiting a Woolworths supermarket in Bridgewater.

“Unfortunately, it took two days to verify that he was at Woolworths and there is growing concern now that he has been to several touch points in the community,” Mr Gutwein said.

“Unfortunately, it took two days to verify that he was at Woolworths and there is growing concern now that he has been to several touch points in the community,” Mr Gutwein said.

A close contact of the man also broke home quarantine, and has since been arrested and fined.

Those in the state’s south will only be able to travel up to 5km from their homes, with face masks required to be worn indoors and outdoors.

“With a plan to be open before Christmas and to hit those vaccination rates, we need to ensure that we can continue with that,” Mr Gutwein said.

“We have a circumstance now where we have a positive delta case in the south of the state with contacts, we have contact tracking and tracing, but unfortunately, the information that we have around those people has been difficult to gauge.

“One of the things that we do not want to be in this state is either Sydney or Melbourne who acted too late in both instances when dealing with [the] Delta [strain of COVID-19].

“Other areas of the state at this stage are not in lockdown: regardless, I would say please remain vigilant and get tested if you have any cold or flu symptoms, no matter how small.”

Indoor and outdoor gatherings are not allowed in the state, with no weddings except those given an exemption for compassionate reasons. Funerals will be able to have a maximum of 10 visitors.

The local government areas going into lockdown in Tasmania from 6pm on Friday include Brighton Council, Central Highlands Council, Clarence City Council, Derwent Valley Council, Glamorgan-Spring Bay Council, Glenorchy City Council, Hobart City Council, Huon Valley Council, Kingborough Council, Sorrel Council, Southern Midlands Council and the Tasman Council.

Tasmanians who are currently in NSW, ACT and Victoria will not be able to travel to Southern Tasmania during the lockdown, and those travelling to Tasmania from other states must follow lockdown rules.

“To non-Tasmanians that wish to travel to the state, if you’re not a resident, we encourage you to reconsider your travel to southern Tasmania, whilst the lockdown is on,” Mr Gutwein said.

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Qantas to return to London next month | News

Qantas has confirmed it will operate its flagship direct route from Australia to London via Darwin when international flights resume next month with the reopening of the border.

The national carrier has reached an agreement with the Northern Territory government and Darwin Airport to temporarily reroute its flights from Melbourne and Sydney through Darwin.

The Darwin hub arrangement will be in place in time for borders reopening from November 14th until at least April next year when London flights are scheduled to operate via Perth again.

While this is a temporary change to the route, Qantas said it would “watch how it performs and is open-minded about what it could lead to down the track”.

The Sydney-Darwin-London route will begin on November 14th, while the Melbourne-Darwin-London route is currently scheduled to begin on December 18th.

However, it could start earlier depending on discussions with the Victorian government on shorter quarantine arrangements for returning travellers.

Qantas Group chief executive, Alan Joyce, said the new route via Darwin will be made possible due to the support from the Northern Territory government who have been instrumental in helping Qantas facilitate the new route in a post Covid-19 operating environment.

He added: “The Kangaroo route is one of the most iconic on the Qantas international network and we are delighted that Darwin will play a vital role in Australia’s post pandemic reopening to the world.

“Qantas has been flying repatriation services from London to Darwin as part of the airline’s efforts to help bring Australians home over the past 12 months, so our pilots already have extensive experience operating this particular route.”

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Qantas pushes back London-Perth services

Qantas says it is looking at using Darwin to operate services between London
and Perth as uncertainty remains over the reopening of certain international flights
from Australia.

The airline says that while it plans to restart international services gradually from 18 December 2021 onwards when Australia is expected to have reached a vaccination threshold of 80 per cent, it is pushing its direct Perth-London service back to at least April 2022 because of the current expectations about restrictions lifting in Western Australia (WA). It will instead look at routing daily Melbourne-London services via Darwin and is in “detailed discussions” with both the government of the Northern Territory and Darwin Airport.

Qantas has been using Darwin as a hub for repatriation flights to
various destinations across Europe, Asia and the Middle East over the past 12

If the discussions do not bear fruit, the airline says it will instead
route Melbourne-London services via Singapore.  

Services between London and Sydney via Singapore are due to restart on 19 December.

Domestically, the airline is planning to bring back services between
Melbourne and Sydney from 5 November, nearly a month earlier than planned.

Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, said: “At this stage, WA doesn’t intend to
open to international travel until sometime next year, so we’ll unfortunately
have to temporarily move our Perth-London service until at least April 2022.
Instead of operating from Melbourne to Perth and then on to London as it
usually does, this flight will operate from Melbourne to London via either
Darwin or Singapore, depending on conversations we’re having with the NT in the
coming weeks. We look forward to operating this flight via Perth again when
circumstances allow.

“The pace of the vaccine rollout means we’re still on track for
international flying to restart from 18 December onwards. People are clearly
keen to travel. We saw a 175 per cent spike in web searches in the week after
we announced our plans and we’ve seen strong bookings for December and January
for our flights to London, Los Angeles and Singapore in particular.”

“The key factor in determining the ongoing demand level for
international flying will be what the quarantine arrangements are for
Australians when they return. The seven day home quarantine trial in New South
Wales is a great step forward and we’re hoping the system evolves quickly for
vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries to not have to quarantine on
arrival, particularly given Australia itself is on track to have one of the
highest vaccination rates in the world. That’s fast becoming the standard
between many countries overseas.”

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Qantas Will Require Vaccines for Passengers When It Resumes International Flights

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Qantas posts $1.7 billion loss and tips travel by Christmas

AP National Business

Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Qantas Group has posted a $1.7 billion pandemic-related annual loss and forecast Australia will reopen to international travel in December. The airline company said it expects flights to countries with high vaccination rates including the United States, Britain, Japan and Singapore would resume in mid-December. It predicted flights to countries with lower vaccination rates including Indonesia and the Philippines would restart from April next year at the earliest. Its estimates are based on vaccination rates in Australia. But the airline said travel into Australia was uncertain. It noted demand would be very low if Australia continued to require new arrivals to stay in hotel quarantine for 14 days.

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Qantas to require all employees receive Covid-19 vaccination | News

Qantas will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as part of a commitment to safety.

Frontline employees – including cabin crew, pilots and airport workers – will need to be fully vaccinated by November 15th.

The remainder of employees have until the end of March.

However, there will be exemptions for those who are unable for documented medical reasons to be vaccinated, which is expected to be “very rare”.

The policy follows consultation with Qantas and Jetstar employees including a survey sent to 22,000 people to seek their views on vaccination.

The 12,000 responses received makes it one of the biggest single surveys on this topic in Australia.

The results showed that, of those who responded, 89 per cent had already been vaccinated or are planning to be.

Only four per cent were unwilling or unable to get the jab.

Thousands of aviation workers supporting international flights in New South Wales, South Australia and New Zealand are already required to be vaccinated by those jurisdictions.

Announcing the policy, Qantas Group chief executive, Alan Joyce, said: “Having a fully vaccinated workforce will safeguard our people against the virus but also protect our customers and the communities we fly to.

“One crew member can fly into multiple cities and come into contact with thousands of people in a single day.

“Making sure they are vaccinated given the potential of this virus to spread is so important and I think it’s the kind of safety leadership people would expect from us.

“We provide an essential service, so this will help guard against the disruptions that can be caused by just one positive Covid-case shutting down a freight facility or airport terminal,” Joyce said.

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Qantas to stand down staff as Australia lockdown continues | News

Around 2,500 frontline Qantas and Jetstar employees will be stood down for an estimated two months in response to ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks in Australia.

The stand down is a “temporary measure” to deal with a significant drop in flying caused by Covid-19 restrictions in Greater Sydney in particular and the knock-on border closures in all other states and territories.

No job losses are expected, the carrier added.

The decision will directly impact domestic pilots, cabin crew and airport workers, mostly in New South Wales but also in other states given the nature of airline networks.

Employees will be given two weeks’ notice before the stand down takes effect, with pay continuing until mid-August.

Income support in the form of government disaster payments will be key to helping eligible employees get through this challenging period and the Qantas Group said it welcomed the targeted Federal Government support offered for those stood down outside of declared hotspots and to retain domestic aviation capability.

Qantas Group chief executive, Alan Joyce, said the difficult decision to trigger stand downs reflected the reality confronting many businesses operating in New South Wales.

“This is clearly the last thing we want to do, but we’re now faced with an extended period of reduced flying and that means no work for a number of our people.

“We’ve absorbed a significant amount of cost since these recent lockdowns started and continued paying our people their full rosters despite thousands of cancelled flights.

“Qantas and Jetstar have gone from operating almost 100 per cent of their usual domestic flying in May to less than 40 per cent in July because of lockdowns in three states.

“Hopefully, once other states open back up to South Australia and Victoria in the next week or so, and the current outbreak in Brisbane is brought under control, our domestic flying will come back to around 50 to 60 per cent of normal levels.”

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Qantas Is Auctioning Off 2 Lie-flat Business-class Seats

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Qantas Is Encouraging Australians to Get Vaccinated by Giving Away Free Flights

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