Qantas may be on the brink of a big international flight schedule revamp with cancelled flights all through till March 2021. This comes as Australia continues to curb the arrival of foreign tourists, and the carrier awaits a rise in international travel demand.
Halting the sale of international flights
Qantas has removed ticket sales for international flights through the end of March. This is a notably long schedule period without flight alternatives on Qantas. The airline is, however, offering flights onboard its associates.
The sales have halted for programs up to March 28th. After then, the northern summer 2021 season will start, and calendars will be qualified compared to the north of winter season, which will begin later this year.
Earlier, Qantas had suspended international flights till October. Passengers who booked flights between October and March should keep an eye out on their itinerary. It is likely that, within the next few weeks, Qantas starts to remove some flights and provide options for passengers.
Recovery is not on the horizon.
This comes not long after Qantas described its COVID-19 recovery plan from the prevailing crisis. The airline is engaging in aggressive cost savings. It is grounding fleets across the leading airline and its subsidiaries, including Jetstar Australia.
CEO Alan Joyce has earlier stated that international travel likely will not be on the horizon for the airline until mid-2021. Of course, the variables on that timeline would be the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 or else possible flare-ups that would further reduce the opportunity for international travel. One thing that could work in favour of Qantas would be any potential travel bubbles that open up.
The Airbus A380s are entering in storage for about three years– if not longer– depending on how the situation plays out. As the airline’s most massive jets by capacity, turning a profit on these planes would require a considerable uptick in tourism based on current demand. Another iconic type, the 747, will be retired, but not before some “farewell flights” this month.
Australia is taking a different stance.
Australia has taken a tough stance on allowing international flights. This has restricted many operations to and from the country. However, essential cargo flights have continued, and airlines have added new cargo-only repetitions to help keep global supply chains moving.
Most other airlines, ranging from American Airlines and Emirates to British Airways and Air Canada, have started to reopen international flights in some way, shape, or form. A lot of that does, however, have to do with the lifting of restrictions for tourism. Australia is in no rush, however, to start opening up the country to large numbers of tourists again.
However, domestically, things are a little different. Qantas recently offered a big sale on domestic flights, which came with phenomenal results. While there is some pent-up travel demand, airlines around the world are discovering that most of that demand is currently domestic. Or, for European airlines, within the continent.