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Qantas expects return to 100% of pre-pandemic domestic capacity by January -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Qantas airplanes can be seen at Kingsford Smith International Airport Sydney (Australia), March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

By Jamie Freed

SYDNEY – Qantas Airways Ltd hopes to return to flying 100 percent of its preCOVID-19 domestic capacity in January, as Australian state borders are opened due to rising vaccination rates.

At a Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd. industry conference, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce stated that “It appears like we will have all states open by Christmas except for Western Australia.”

On Wednesday, travel restrictions between Sydney-based Melbourne were eased as Victoria granted full vaccinations to residents of New South Wales. The move was in reaction to the rapid increase in immunization rates.

Residents will now be able to enter Victoria without quarantine, as New South Wales has seen a decrease in the number of cases. To enter Sydney from Melbourne, travellers must go through a 2-week quarantine at home.

Joyce stated that Qantas has just one daily flight between Sydney and Melbourne, an increase of 55 flights from before the pandemic.

He stated that “we will gradually increase our flights to approximately 15 per day in November, and to close to 30-40 flights by Christmas. In the New Year, we’ll be back to around the same schedule as before COVID.”

New South Wales announced last week that the airline would allow travellers to enter without quarantine. However, permanent residents and citizens of Australia will not be allowed in.

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