With COVID cases clocking in at zero throughout the country, we’re all starting to feel a bit more positive about life getting back to normal, one year after it all went awry.

Most domestic borders are now open and I am seeing more planes up in the air as they jet passengers between states. However, with a 14-day quarantine program still firmly in place, overseas travel is still up in the air (or should we say firmly on the ground).

An Overseas Christmas Perhaps?

But there’s a rainbow of holiday hope up ahead. Qantas has recently announced that it will start its international travel operations from 31 October 2021.

The national airline has suffered through a $1-billion loss, declared in its half-year trading report. But things are looking up as the majority of Qantas’s overseas routes will take to the air from the end of October. Jetstar will also resume flying to its 13 overseas destinations within the same time-frame.

International Flights Postponed

The company was hoping to re-instate flights from July, but have now readjusted their predictions in line with the expected completion of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Qantas has said that, in the meanwhile, they would increase flights to New Zealand from mid-year, to serve the increased demand due to the trans-Tasman bubble.

“We’re now planning for international travel to restart at the end of October this year, in line with the date for Australia’s vaccine rollout to be effectively complete,” Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce said.

“We’re still targeting July for a material increase in New Zealand flights. We’re in close consultation with government, and if things change, so will our dates. But with the vaccine rollout already underway, we’re on the right track,” he added.

Qantas has said that it predicts that its international services will only reach pre-COVID capacity in 2024 (it is currently flying at only 8 per cent of capacity).

qantas planes
Qantas planes parked in a row…waiting for the skies to open

Depends on Many Factors

The airline’s return to the skies most likely also depends on the status of quarantine requirements. Many people will be discouraged from leaving the country if they have to pay thousands upon returning to be holed up in a hotel room for 14 days. There is no indication from the government as to when borders will open freely to international visitors.

As we now well know that in the world of a global pandemic, things can change overnight so I probably wouldn’t start booking any flights yet…but we can at least start dreaming.

Are you feeling confident enough to start planning an international holiday yet? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • The thought of overseas travel seems a bit out of reach, who knows when we will get back to a normal.


  • I’m not sure about travelling overseas at the moment. I prefer to travel interstate


  • I hope so! Qantas the only airline I choose


  • No international travel or even Interstate travel for us not confident at all about travelling scared might get stuck over there and cant get back home


  • We should all wait until the government tells us when it’s safer instead of an airline which desperately needs revenue coming in. I also want to travel but will only do so when safe


  • It’s a month since this article and COVID cases are on the rise again! Its such a fragile time, I certainly would not want to risk my health for a holiday overseas (most locally acquired cases seem to stem from returned travelers).


  • If they could promise no border closures then I’d be on the next plane! I’d love to see my parents in England!


  • I’ve never been interested in travelling overseas. There’s so much to see in Australia. And with all the diseases over there….no thanks


  • As much as I love traveling overseas, I definitely won’t be in any rush to leave Australia. I don’t want to get ‘stuck’ anywhere or have boarders close. Other countries are still doing it a lot tougher than Australia.


  • As much as I missing traveling overseas, I definitely won’t be in any rush to leave Australia, I think a lot of people will still be very hesitant about traveling overseas specially if you have children. We will be holidaying in Australia it an amazing place with so much to see and it helps the Australian economy too.


  • I have no interest in overseas travel. I can’t see the govt being too hastey about opening our borders to overseas people either. Only takes 1 case to get out of control and we all end up in lockdown again. With the vaccine roll-out, I expect we are getting closer to borders re opening


  • Sounds great, but how could you be sure you could come home again with the way the state premiers are locking down their state on a whim?


  • On again, off again lol one day we can travel ???? hopefully soon to see loved ones


  • An interstate holiday sounds good at the moment. Would love to go back to Tassie or Sydney!


  • I will stay in Australia and travel where we can. Just need our internal borders to remain open to us Aussies, instead of being slammed shut too quickly, too often.

    Qantas can take all the flight bookings for international flights that it wants. But, it is not up to Qantas to say when our international borders will open again, allowing flights inbound and out.


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