Qantas aims for international travel in December

Qantas Airways announced Thursday it's looking to reboot international travel as early as December.

Pending government decisions, the airline says it's targeting flights to countries with high vaccination rates, like Singapore, the U.S., and Britain.

Flights to places with lower vaccination rates, like Indonesia and the Philippines, would restart from April 2022 at the earliest.

It's a hopeful sign for travel in the Asia-Pacific region, where borders are largely closed and international travel is 95% lower than what it used to be.

But, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said Thursday, one of the big unknowns is quarantine requirements, particularly for those entering Australia.

"If it's still 14 days in hotel, demand levels will be very low and this schedule won't be feasible. A shorter period with additional testing and the option to isolate at home will see a lot more people travel."

Australia is currently in the midst of its worst outbreak yet, with more than half the population locked down.

Last month, the country set a goal of having 80% of adults fully vaccinated before reopening its international borders.

Only around 30% of Australians are fully vaccinated so far, though forecasts say the country could hit their goal by the end of the year as more imported doses arrive.

Meanwhile, Joyce told analysts Qantas would likely not relaunch its nonstop flights from Sydney to London, until 2024 or 2025.

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