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Qantas brings forward international flights relaunch

Qantas is bringing forward the restart of international flights to London and Los Angeles by two weeks to November 1.

The change was made after the Australia’s federal and New South Wales governments confirmed borders will now reopen on that date.

The national carrier also welcomed a decision by the NSW authorities to remove quarantine arrangements for fully vaccinated arrivals, which is in line with many countries around the world.

Qantas will operate up to five return flights a week from Sydney to London and up to four return flights a week from Sydney to Los Angeles using Boeing 787 Dreamliners from November 1.

More flights will be added to meet demand, if needed, the carrier said.

Qantas previously confirmed its direct route from Australia to London will operate via Darwin instead of Perth when international flights resume next month. These flights to London will operate via Darwin until at least April 2022.

The initial flights from November 1 are limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and parents in line with Australian government requirements.

Australia has kept its international borders shut since March 2020. It has allowed entry almost exclusively to citizens and permanent residents who have had to make mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine stays at their own cost.

Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said: “Bringing forward the reopening of Australia to the world and removing quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers entering New South Wales is a massive step towards life as we knew it.

“In just a little over two weeks, Australians around the world can fly into Sydney and people from around Australia can leave on trips they’ve been waiting almost two years to take. We hope other states will do the same once they reach the 80 per cent target.

“We have thousands of our pilots and cabin crew wanting to get back to work and they will be thrilled at today’s announcement. It will still be a long time before international travel returns to normal but this is a fantastic start.

“Removing quarantine for the fully vaccinated is a sensible approach and brings New South Wales into line with many other global cities.”

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