Qantas’ first quarantine-free flight to Australia has landed in Sydney today. This is the first commercial passenger flight that the Australian flag carrier has operated in nearly 600 days.
QF12 from Los Angeles, operated by a Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner, touched down in Sydney at 06:00 hours today with no border or quarantine restrictions for incoming passengers who are fully vaccinated. The first flight to depart from Australia will be between Sydney and London via Darwin at 18:30 hours.
While the national carrier has flown hundreds of Federal Government repatriation flights during the COVID-19 pandemic, and operated under a temporary border bubble arrangement with New Zealand earlier this year, these are the first regular Qantas international passenger flights after the Australian and New South Wales (NSW) governments relaxed restrictions on overseas travel.
Alan Joyce, CEO, Qantas Group, said:
This day has been a long time coming for our people and our customers. It’s wonderful to see Australians able to reunite with loved ones after such a long time apart. It’s been very challenging time for our international crew, with many of them stood down since March 2020. We are in the process of standing up our Australian-based team members who are excited to get back to doing what they love. We are back in the air earlier than anticipated thanks to the millions of people who turned out in droves to get vaccinated. This made it possible for the Federal, and NSW and Victorian governments to open up Australia’s borders and remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers. International travel may be a little different for a while with some new requirements and guidelines in place, but one thing that hasn’t changed is Qantas’ commitments to safety and premium service. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome everyone back on board.
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Adrienne Innes, Qantas Customer Services Supervisor on QF12, said:
It was amazing to welcome back our passengers, and the whole team was really emotional and excited to be able to take care of them on their journey home.
All passengers on Qantas International flights are required to be fully vaccinated, unless they are under 12 years old, are 12-17 year olds travelling to Australia with their family or guardian or have an exemption.
Initial flights are limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and parents in line with Federal Government requirements.
Qantas will operate flights to London and Los Angeles from today while flights to other destinations will resume in the coming weeks. The airline will also launch flights to New Delhi, India after nearly a decade.
Featured image by Qantas
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