Australian flagship carrier Qantas has canceled most of its international flights for the next four months on the expectation that the coronavirus pandemic will last through most of the year.
“With Australia’s borders set to remain closed for some time, we have canceled most international flights until late October,” Qantas said in a statement on Thursday.
A Qantas spokesperson pointed out that the country’s tourism minister, Simon Birmingham, recently said Australia’s international borders with most countries are unlikely to reopen until 2021.
There’s one possible exception: New Zealand, Australia’s neighbor across the Tasman Sea. Politicians have discussed the possibility of creating a travel corridor between the two countries — though nothing has been formally agreed yet. Currently, anyone traveling between the two countries is subject to a two-week quarantine. Non-residents of either country are banned from even flying those routes, with few exceptions.
“If there is any country in the world with whom we can reconnect with first, undoubtedly that’s New Zealand,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in April. Qantas said that it still has “some flights” scheduled between the two countries “in the coming months. ”close dialog
“Should travel between Australia and other countries open up and demand returns, we can add more flights back into our schedule,” the airline added.T
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