Australian flagship carrier Qantas announces 500,000 bookings

Workers are seen near Qantas Airways, Australia''s national carrier, Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the tarmac at Adelaide Airport, Australia, August 22, 2018
Australia is seeing a surge in flight bookings as the country emerges from pandemic isolation [FILE: David Gray/Reuters]

Australia’s flagship carrier Qantas Airways said on Friday it had taken nearly 500,000 domestic bookings in the past two weeks as states begin to open their borders, compared with about 20,000 in a two-week period in August when much of the country was locked down.

“Travel demand and confidence levels are high,” Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said in a speech at the airline’s annual meeting.

“Domestically, the crucial Melbourne-Sydney route has started to ramp up,” he said. “And most states have outlined their plans to open their borders before Christmas – one of the busiest travel times of the year.”

The airline said it would provide a more detailed update to the market next month.

FILE PHOTO: A view shows a Qantas Boeing 747 jumbo jet that departed from Sydney Airport, in Sydney
Australia has begun easing some of the world’s strictest border controls [FILE: Stephen Coates/Reuters]

Qantas resumed flights to Los Angeles and London on Monday as Australia reopened its borders to citizens, permanent residents and immediate family members after nearly 20 months of pandemic isolation.

The country’s reopening marked the end of some of the world’s strictest border controls, which separated citizens from their loved ones throughout the pandemic. Qantas plans to resume flights to a range of other destinations including Fiji, Vancouver and South Africa in December.

Australia is set to allow tourists to visit the country starting November 21 when fully vaccinated arrivals from Singapore will be permitted quarantine-free entry.

Source: News Agencies