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COVID Australia: Qantas confirms international flights will take-off from December 18

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Qantas has officially confirmed Australians can pack their bags for an overseas holiday from December 18. 

The country’s flagship airline has provided the exact date holiday-hungry residents can book flights to popular destinations like the US, UK, Canada and Singapore

Biosecurity laws banning outbound travel without an exception will end on December 17 – the day before flights are set to resume. 

Qantas has officially confirmed Australians can pack their bags for an overseas holiday from December 18 (pictured, a tourist in Canada)

Qantas has officially confirmed Australians can pack their bags for an overseas holiday from December 18 (pictured, a tourist in Canada)

The country's flagship airline (pictured) has provided the exact date holiday-hungry residents can book flights to popular destinations like the US, UK, Canada and Singapore

The country’s flagship airline (pictured) has provided the exact date holiday-hungry residents can book flights to popular destinations like the US, UK, Canada and Singapore

Qantas has scheduled flights to London, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Singapore to commence from December 18. 

Australians will additionally be able to pack their bags for a highly-anticipated holiday to Tokyo and Fiji from December 19, and Hawaii the following day.  

Keen travellers will be expected to fork out around $1600 and $2300 for a one-way ticket to London and Los Angeles, with a return flight costing slightly less.  

The announcement will come as welcome news to holiday-starved Australians who were told by Qantas boss Alan Joyce last month he expected flights to a few selected cities to resume in mid-December.  

Last week, the airline announced its plans to gradually bring back overseas flights once 80 per cent of the over 16s are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in accordance with the national plan. 

Qantas said it expected the country to reach that target in December – triggering the re-opening of international borders as part of ‘Phase C’ of the federal government’s path to pandemic normality. 

The airline said flights to cities in Asia and South Africa with low vaccination rates and high Covid-19 case numbers would not restart until at least April 2022.

However, Hong Kong could be a viable holiday destination from February 2022. 

Where will you be able to jet off overseas this December?

 December 18 

*Sydney-London

*Melbourne-London

*Sydney-Los Angeles

*Sydney-Vancouver

*Sydney-Singapore

*Melbourne-Singapore

 December 19  

*Melbourne-Los Angeles

*Brisbane-Los Angeles

*Sydney-Honolulu

*Brisbane-Singapore

*Sydney-Tokyo

*Sydney-Fiji

 

 

Qantas has scheduled flights to London, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Singapore to commence from December 18 a spokesperson has revealed (pictured, a tourist in Italy)

Qantas has scheduled flights to London, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Singapore to commence from December 18 a spokesperson has revealed (pictured, a tourist in Italy)

Australians can pack their bags for a Qantas flight to the US (pictured) from December 18

Australians can pack their bags for a Qantas flight to the US (pictured) from December 18 

Those developing world destinations include Bali, Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City and Johannesburg.

Qantas said it also plans to restart flights between Australia and New Zealand from mid-December 2021 as long as the trans-Tasman bubble had re-opened by that date.

The airline has predicted Victoria will be the first state to open its borders to NSW from early December, while hardline Western Australia will be the last. 

However only vaccinated passengers will be able to book a flight after Qantas confirmed it would ban un-jabbed passengers on international flights. 

Chief executive Alan Joyce said last Thursday the mandate was intended to protect those passengers who were fully vaccinated, as the jabs reduce the chances of catching and transmitting the virus. 

‘Qantas will have a policy that internationally we’ll only be carrying vaccinated passengers,’ Mr Joyce said.

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‘Because we think that’s going to be one of the requirements to show that you’re flying safe and getting into those countries. We’re hoping that can happen by Christmas.’ 

Qantas has plans to restart flights between Australia and New Zealand from mid-December 2021 as long as the trans-Tasman bubble had re-opened by that date (pictured, a tourist in Fiji)

Qantas has plans to restart flights between Australia and New Zealand from mid-December 2021 as long as the trans-Tasman bubble had re-opened by that date (pictured, a tourist in Fiji)

Qantas has confirmed it would ban unvaccinated passengers from travelling on international flights (pictured, a tourist in London)

Qantas has confirmed it would ban unvaccinated passengers from travelling on international flights (pictured, a tourist in London)

West Australians may also miss out on international flights after their hardline state premier refused to budge on opening his border until well after Christmas. 

Where can I go and how much will it cost on December 18? 

Los Angeles: Between $1600 and $2300 for a one way flight

Auckland: Between $300 and $500 for a one-way flight

London: Between $1600 and $2300 for a one-way flight

Singapore: Between $1200 and $1500 for a return flight

Canada: Between $2700 and $3500 for a return flight

Source: Qantas 

Mark McGowan has since declared the domestic border may remain shut until April 2022, meaning residents could remain isolated for another seven months.  

The premier said he will wait until his state reaches between 85 and 90 per cent vaccination rates to open up, but has not said when that target will be reached. 

It comes after Flight Centre chief executive Graham Turner optimistically predicted the first flight out of Australia would be destined for London in mid-November.

Australia is considered a ‘green list’ country by the United Kingdom, meaning visitors do not have to quarantine on arrival. 

Instead, tourists are required to have been Covid-tested in the three days before arriving in Britain and again on their second day in the country. 

Mr Turner also correctly predicted Australians could pack their bags for a trip to mainland Europe, Fiji, Canada and the United States before Christmas time. 

The travel chief also said travellers would likely only be required to quarantine for two to five days on their return to Australia when international travel resumes – and it could even be at home.  

The company's CEO Alan Joyce (pictured) said the mandate would be to protect those flying who were vaccinated and ensure those aboard Qantas flights who are vaccinated can fly safely

The company’s CEO Alan Joyce (pictured) said the mandate would be to protect those flying who were vaccinated and ensure those aboard Qantas flights who are vaccinated can fly safely

Australians will be able to book Qantas flights to Japan (pictured) and Fiji from December 19

Australians will be able to book Qantas flights to Japan (pictured) and Fiji from December 19

Qantas has been pushing for vaccination reform throughout the pandemic, instituting mandatory jabs for its 22,000-strong staff.

‘Frontline employees – including cabin crew, pilots and airport workers – will need to be fully vaccinated by November 15, 2021 and the remainder of employees by March 31, 2022,’ the company said in a statement.

‘There will be exemptions for those who are unable for documented medical reasons to be vaccinated, which is expected to be very rare.’

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said self-isolation at home would become the ‘primary and viable method’ for Australians undergoing quarantine.

Aussies have been banned from leaving the country for holidays since March 2020 and anyone returning must pay up to $2,800 for two weeks of hotel quarantine.

The federal government has also cleared a plan for Covid vaccine passports for launch with international immunisation passports to be rolled out in October (pictured, a woman in Los Angeles)

The federal government has also cleared a plan for Covid vaccine passports for launch with international immunisation passports to be rolled out in October (pictured, a woman in Los Angeles)

As it stands, 43.2 per cent of eligible Australians have had two doses of a Covid vaccine (pictured, a woman in Sydney's domestic airport)

As it stands, 43.2 per cent of eligible Australians have had two doses of a Covid vaccine (pictured, a woman in Sydney’s domestic airport)

Departure exemptions can be granted to people leaving for more than three months or for approved work or compassionate reasons. 

It is believed expats may be permitted to home quarantine if they are fully vaccinated with a jab approved by the country’s medical regulator.  

The federal government has also cleared a plan for Covid vaccine passports for launch with international immunisation passports to be rolled out in October.  

Mr Morrison said the passports were key to the next stage of the national plan when Australia’s lockdown borders – both internal and external – will finally be re-opened.

The document will be accepted internationally so when Australians are finally allowed to go overseas again, they can travel freely. 

As it stands, 43.2 per cent of eligible Australians have had two doses of a Covid vaccine. 

Will Qantas flights be refunded if Australia closes its border?

Qantas has advised if flights are affected by border restrictions and the airline has cancelled the flight: 

*Qantas will contact anyone whose flight has been impacted with the options available, including a Flight Credit

*An alternative flight will be booked to the customers destination (if possible) or they will receive a refund

Qantas has advised if travel plans are affected by border restrictions and the customer has cancelled the flight: 

*A cancellation fee may be charged in accordance to the fare rules

*A Flight Credit can be requested to change the flight (a fare difference may apply) 

 

 

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