Qantas suspends all int'l flights, except New Zealand, until March 2021

- A Monitor Desk Report 15 Jul, 2020 | 932 Views|-+
Dhaka: Australia's flag carrier Qantas have officially removed international flight bookings – except New Zealand – from their website until March 28, 2021.

Pulling of all international inventory comes weeks after Alan Joyce, CEO of the airline group announced that services overseas would not likely resume for another 12 months.

According to reports, while flights overseas to the US, Asia and Europe can still be made through the Qantas website, the flights will be serviced through partner airlines such as Emirates and Cathay Pacific.

The closing of flights and changing of bookings is not unexpected, given Joyce signalled that all international flying would be suspended until the middle of 2021.

Last month, the Australian national carrier announced it was grounding 100 aircraft in the US's Mojave Desert, had axed at least 20 per cent of its workforce and parked some of the airline's fleet of A380s (used for flagship international routes) for "at least three years".

Joyce said that while a Trans-Tasman route may be operational before mid-2021, other popular routes around the world will not restart "in any real size (until) July next year".

"We have to be realistic about it and say with what's happening in the rest of the globe, it is probably an extended period of time," Joyce said, adding it would be "years before international flying returns to what it was" for the airline.

Following the announcement last month, a Qantas spokesperson said the much-hyped New Zealand travel bubble was expected in the coming months. However, the surge in cases Victoria was currently experiencing could impact the start date.

"We're planning to be back to 40 per cent of our pre-crisis domestic flying during July and hopefully more in the months that follow. But we'll be living with COVID for some time and recent events show we can't take a low infection rate for granted," Joyce said.

"(For) international, we have to be realistic about it and in staying with what's happening in the rest of the globe, it is probably an extended period of time before we'll open up those borders."

"We're parking the A380 for at least three years because they don't have any use, we think, during this period of time."

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