Qantas flights from eight overseas destinations are touching down in Australia today, bringing the first international tourists in almost two years and an eagerly anticipated boost for the country’s tourism industry.
The Qantas Group will fly more than 14,000 passengers into Australia this week as quarantine and border barriers for international tourists come down.
QF12 from Los Angeles was the first to land at 6.20am and flights from other international destinations including Vancouver, Singapore and London will arrive into Sydney throughout the day. Jetstar’s first unrestricted international flight JQ18 will touch down in Melbourne from Phuket at 10.05am and QF70 from Delhi to Melbourne will arrive at 1.35pm.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said bookings had been strong since the Australian Government announced the country was opening to international visitors, and today’s arrivals will be the first of many.
“It’s fair to say we’ve all been waiting a long time to welcome visitors back to Australia. The thousands of international tourists arriving this week and many more over the coming months will help kickstart the tourism industry which has done it tough for the past couple of years.
“We’re in this position today thanks to the millions of Australians who rolled up their sleeves to get the jab and give the Australian Government and state and territory governments’ confidence that we can safely reopen to the world.
“We can clearly see from the Australian Government’s announcement that people are very keen to come back to Australia, and we continue to see strong bookings out of the US and UK, as well as South Africa and Canada.”
Qantas restarted its international network for Australian citizens and visa holders on 1 November 2021, with a number of routes coming online since then. Sydney to Dallas recommenced flying on 16 February, and flights to other destinations are scheduled to relaunch in coming weeks including:
- Melbourne to Honolulu (Jetstar) – From 1 March
- Sydney to Honolulu (Jetstar) – From 3 March
- Melbourne to Denpasar (Jetstar) – From 14 March
- Sydney to Denpasar (Jetstar) – From 15 March
- Brisbane to Singapore – From 27 March
- Sydney to Manila – From 27 March
- Sydney to Denpasar – From 28 March
- Darwin to Dili – From 30 March
- Brisbane to Los Angeles – From 1 April