Australia’s Qantas Airways, which has been one of the most cautious airlines about flying overseas during the coronavirus pandemic, says it will resume international flights in October of this year.
The airline made the commitment when it released its half-year financial results earlier this week, noting it plans to resume international flights by the fall and flights to neighboring New Zealand by July, according to CNN.
The Jet Set reports that the timing was purposeful, as the airline hopes to coincide its return with Australia’s vaccination program. Qantas will also have its budget carrier, Jetstar, resume all 13 of its routes including flights to Bangkok, Seoul and Tokyo.
A representative for Qantas says that the airline is looking into the idea of a “vaccine passport” that will verify whether a passenger has been vaccinated. Some countries are allowing vaccinated travelers to bypass quarantining upon arrival, which is a critical first step for slowly reopening the global tourism industry.
Australia has kept its borders almost entirely shut to non-residents for the last year.
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