There is no doubt that international travel has become rather dangerous over the last few months due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Citizens are postponing scheduled vacations and have been urged by health authorities to avoid communication with already affected countries.
In response to the current situation, the Australia-based Qantas Airways Limited seems to be taking an aggressive approach when it comes to canceling future international flights. The airline has reportedly removed international flight bookings from their website until March 28, 2021, with the only exception that comes for New Zealand.
The move follows comments made by Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce a few weeks ago, who clarified that the airline’s worldwide routes would likely remain deferred for another one year. However, people can still book flights to Europe, Asia, and United via Qantas, but these will be operated by partner airlines like Cathay Pacific and Emirates.
The national carrier reported last month that it had grounded 100 aircraft in the US Mojave Desert and for at least three years parked some A380s fleet, used for flagship international routes. The airline also removed a minimum of 20% of its employees as part of a broader plan to ensure its survival.
Mr. Joyce said that while the trans-Tasman route could be in operation before mid-2021, no other popular routes around the world would be in effect until July next year.
After last month’s announcement, a spokesperson for Qantas told that they were expecting the highly hyped travel bubble in New Zealand in the coming months, but the rise of cases in Victoria was likely to affect the start date.
For the record, Qantas airlines is the flag carrier of Australia and its biggest airline by international fleet size, international destinations, and international flights.