Over60

International Travel

Qantas boss reveals when Aussies will be able to travel overseas

Qantas boss reveals when Aussies will be able to travel overseas

Aussies who are daydreaming of heading overseas could be travelling as soon as next year, according to travel experts.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce announced on Thursday that the airline's international flights will likely resume in July 2021.

The announcement came after he reported that Qantas had lost a shocking $2 billion in the 2020 financial year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Joyce said Qantas' larger aircrafts - such as A380s - will be grounded for years to come, indicating trips on longer flights routes could be further away.  

"Most airlines will come through this crisis a lot leaner, which means we have to reinvent how we run parts of our business to succeed in a changed market," Mr Joyce said during Thursday's trading post. 

"We have parked the A380 for at least three years … We have put the 787s in long-term storage which fly transcontinental and we believe the earliest we will see the international borders opening up is the middle of next year."

Reopening tourism will also depend on nations' control of coronavirus outbreaks, with Joyce warning that travel to the US won't be happening any time soon. 

"The US, with the level of (coronavirus) prevalence there, it is probably going to take some time. There will probably need to be a vaccine before we could see (flights) happening," Mr Joyce said. 

"We potentially could see a vaccine by the middle or the end of next year, and countries like the US may be the first country to have widespread use of that vaccine. So that could mean that the US is seen as a market by the end of 2021, hopefully we could, dependent on a vaccine, start seeing flights again."

Aviation expert Neil Hansford envisions that New Zealand will be the first destination to open to eager Australians.

"I think the world understands social distancing of 1.5-2 metres and the opening up won’t be universal," Mr Hansford told news.com.au

"Africa and South America could be 24-36 months away. Even with a vaccine, only wealthy nations populations will be able to afford it and even in Australia to vaccinate all of us within three months would be impossible.

"Once other countries can demonstrate NSW levels, the world will open up."

Hansford's list for countries to open first is below.

  1. New Zealand
  2. Pacific Islands
  3. Singapore
  4. Japan
  5. Vietnam
  6. Cambodia
  7. UK
  8. Germany
  9. Scandinavia except for Sweden
  10. Ireland