Airlines call for the government to lift limits on inbound travellers

With over 20,000 Australians still stranded overseas, airlines are pushing for looser limits on international arrivals.

By David Flynn, September 15 2020
Airlines call for the government to lift limits on inbound travellers

International airlines are ramping up their calls for an increase the number of passengers permitted to enter Australia ahead of the government’s review of the limit of 4,000 inbound travellers each week.

Intended to ease pressure on the mandatory hotel quarantine system, the cap system runs until October 24 and pegs arrivals at 350 passengers per day at Sydney, 525 passengers per week at Perth, and 500 passengers per week at Adelaide and Brisbane.

Flight limits in Canberra and Darwin are decided “on a case by case basis,” the government says, while Melbourne remains closed to all inbound travellers.

However, with an estimated 20,000 Australians stranded overseas and unable to book a flight due to the strict limits – which sees some flights carrying as few as 30 passengers – pressure is mounting for a significant increase on international airport arrivals.

Qatar closes bookings

Qatar Airways has already said it will stop accepting new bookings for flights to Australia until the current passenger cap is relaxed.

Executive Traveller understands that airlines are working with the government on a two-weekly basis to have their passenger loads for each flight approved and allocated for the coming fortnight.

“Due to the dynamic nature of the pandemic, airlines operating flights to Australia have faced ever-changing restrictions, often imposed on short notice,” the airline said in a statement.

It claims this has led to a “cascading effect” on bookings made weeks or even months in advance, resulting in “many passengers having their tickets rebooked onto later flights several times as demand exceeds the new caps announced.”

According to Qatar Airways CEO His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, managing the impact of this on passengers was becoming “increasingly challenging”.

“While we continue to work closely with the Australian authorities to protect public health, unfortunately many disappointed passengers are unable to travel as per their travel plans,” Al Baker said.

Business class prioritised

“Given the restrictions, we cannot accommodate these passengers on an alternative flight the following day where we face the exact same issue, so the problem continues to grow daily.”

Al Baker has also pointed out that the high cost of flying to Australia and the limited number of passengers means that airlines have to prioritise expensive business class bookings on mostly-empty aircraft.

“It is a very long flight and when we carry limited numbers of passengers you can see that it puts a huge strain on our costs,” he told ABC News Breakfast.

"We have between 38 and 42 seats in our business class, and because we have such a limited number of passengers that we can carry, we have no other alternative” in order to cover the cost of operating the flight.

Allowing more travellers into Australia would consequently free up a higher number of cheaper economy class fares.

A growing backlog

The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia, which represents over 30 international airlines serving Australia, says that the growing backlog of passengers now stretches towards the end of this year.

“When you can only fill a sixth of the seats, the cost equation (for airlines) becomes terrible,” explained BARA executive director Barry Abrams. “The issue here is not availability of seats. There’s no shortage of seats. It comes down to the caps.”

“A target average of at least 100 passengers per arriving flight, while still difficult financially, is far better than 30 or less.”

Abrams said that international airlines are now forced to continually juggle passenger bookings based for priority travel back to Australia on compassionate grounds.

“International airlines are effectively ‘triaging’ the many cases put to them in the context of an already long passenger waiting list.”

“Given the existing backlog of passengers, greater flexibility within caps would also mean international airlines are better placed to support hardship cases, as there are plenty of spare seats on every flight.”

More airlines may pull out

Singapore Airlines is also looking to find a balance between arrivals controls and getting Australians home.

“We are working closely with all relevant stakeholders to ensure inbound flights do not place any additional burden on Australian quarantine facilities, while also ensuring customers are provided with options to return home from overseas or undertake essential travel,” says Karl Schubert, Public Relations Manager, South West Pacific for Singapore Airlines.

“We continue to monitor passenger numbers on inbound flights to Australia and will make adjustments to bookings as necessary to comply with caps on inbound passenger arrivals,” Schubert told Executive Traveller.

As previously reported, Malaysia Airlines will suspend flights to Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth from October 25, 2020 to late March 2021 as they are no longer “commercially viable” due to limited passenger numbers.

BARA chief Abrams suggested that more airlines would follow, further reducing the options available for Australians to return home.

“At Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth Airports the small weekly caps of between 500 and 525 passengers can be commercially unviable for international airlines, especially if this small number is intended to be spread out evenly across the week.”

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

Interesting premise since the federal government is in more shaky ground on exit restriction of Residents rather than entry restrictions which of course they can point to state governments’ (in)ability to find adequate quarantine capacity (Until the second wave NSW and VIC taking on most of the heavy lifting, now mostly NSW AFAIK, the other states not doing enough to take up the slack from what VIC used to take in).

Furthermore, it is known in airline industry that for pax flights, 75% of the profits come from the pax in business class and above who only account for 15% of all pax. So it actually suits the airlines far more to have all business pax only rather than half full cattle class on inbound flights  and presumably even less on outgoing flights.

But hey what do I know, I am just an armchair ceo

07 Mar 2013

Total posts 30

They can't really point to state governments...hotel quarantine is a federal policy affecting travellers arriving at the Australian border. It should always have been set up, administered and overseen by the federal government. 

I'm sure they'll have a plan for helping people out though...after all the government is apparently full of compassion now!

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

@bcworld

I agree that international travellers would logically be under federal purview, but for some reason, quarantine matters for international returnees for flights and cruise has been managed and the final say is under local health authorities and state police (hence the NSW ruby princess confusion, and the vic hotel inquiry)

Furthermore the state governments are the ones who ask ScoMo to reduce arrivals (at a time when they should be increasing numbers as VIC is put out of action!), so I suspect somewhere in the federation papers it says the state government administer that quarantine (otherwise every army camp instead of hotels will be doing the quarantine)

And WA wouldn’t be getting Rottnest island for the returnees and Europeans from cruise ships. Mind you now McGowan wants ScoMo to use commonwealth facilities to accommodate increased arrivals and even return to Christmas Island so there is probably something grey zone there.

It seemed that only the only people quarantined in commonwealth facilities (Christmas Island detention centre and NT army camp next to a very unhappy township) were those returnees from China in Feb and March, mostly from Wuhan. 

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 808

After the Victorian disaster, state governments are loathe to allow too many arrivals in their state in case they stuff up too.  Until this can be overcome, the arrivals limit will remain.   The only possible way forward is for refugee and detention camps be used once again for arrivals which would increase capacity into Christmas Island, Darwin and Sydney. 

20 May 2020

Total posts 5

Perhaps they could also use Port Arthur and Norfolk Island. Perhaps I shouldn't give the government ideas !!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Aug 2020

Total posts 7

Both are former prisons - so very similar to how most of us feel.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 581

Considering the number of people arriving each week the camps you talk of would not have the required capacity. 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1127

AJW I think I read the mining camp near Darwin can take a couple of thousand which translates to a Silk Air 737 on a daily basis.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 808

Hotel quarantine was made a state responsibility after the states agreed to take it on in National Cabinet.  In hindsight, that may have been a mistake given what happened in Victoria.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 113

Given that inbound passengers now pay for hotel quarantine, except for some costs which the Govt bears such as transport and security, they should lift the caps to let more Australians return, with cheaper economy airfares, and also they should set 'three star, four star and five star' options for quarantine. Three star might be a basic room at lower rate, five star might be a large multi-room suite even in the same hotel. Perhaps people coming from countries where COVID is pretty much under control can have a shorter quarantine period with more testing? The thing is, we need to get more people home and we should be looking at as many ways to achieve this as possible.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

@ QFP1

The few photo I have seen from that Travelodge that prompted the massive transfer of people under quarantine to another hotel shows things that anyone can find in 5 star hotels. I thought it’s just that because people are stuck in those rooms 24/7 allows them to spot everything. 

If I am paying $100 per day (not including meals) I would have been quite happy this is all they can find. Or maybe I should stop staying at motels on my road trips (although most cost at least $100 daily anyway)

I am not sure that the hotels want that kind of quarantine business; I read some newspapers in June some of the hotel chain rather partially shut down than to continue with the quarantine arrangement 

05 May 2016

Total posts 592

The caps certainly should be increased. It's not just affecting those trying to come home, but also those who need to travel, but are having exemptions denied. The 28 days quarantine (14 at destination and 14 when coming home) should deter most who don't need to travel and if people have to pay for quarantine on their return they should be allowed to travel. If they need to set a higher price for quarantine for those who are currently in Australia and need to leave and return then at least give people that option.

I suspect the Victorian Premier will be extremely reluctant to allow incoming international arrivals until/unless there is a vaccine and those arriving have been vaccinated. That is assuming that he is not sacked by his party room. If there is a 3rd wave in Victoria he'd have no chance as staying on as leader to the next election, so he'd want to do everything possible to avoid that.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 May 2020

Total posts 9

I think you’re too pessimistic. I’d imagine that if we get this right with second wave (and we’re going into that direction), there’s nothing stopping the premier from reopening the airport and having the hotel quarantine 2.0. This time, however, done with ADF, police and nurses. If it can be done in NSW, QLD, SA and WA, it can be done in Melbourne too. I hope they learnt their lesson.

07 Mar 2013

Total posts 30

The other states do / did not have foolproof systems either. They way it was spun at the beginning you would've believed that only Vic used private security. Since then its become apparent that others do use them alongside the ADF / Police. We've seen private security asleep on the job in NSW and 2 of them have become infected with COVID while working in Sydney too. We've also seen people escape from hotel quarantine in other states or as in Sydney recently, pop out for a day trip after falsifying some documents! I think Melbourne was a wake up call for them all that amateurs trying to (or not even bothering to) practice infection control is too big a risk to take...and amateurs in my book can include the ADF and police. So the program has been throttled to ensure that it can get sufficient oversight. Imagine the cap was lifted in one go....1000s would be arriving in each city each day and none of them would I think cope.

07 Mar 2013

Total posts 30

Speak of the devil! From today's Age / SMH. I guess I had assumed quarantine hotels were exclusively that...it seems like regular guests might be staying in the same places though.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/coronavirus-updates-live-new-fines-for-sydney-parties-victorian-parliament-to-sit-after-case-national-death-toll-at-816-20200915-p55vn8.html

Hi bcworld, for copyright reasons, please do not copy and paste content from other websites (including news sources such as The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald) here in the comments section. Such works are protected by copyright, and reproducing them requires formal permission (and often, payment).

Instead, feel free to share a link to the story you've found as part of your comment. We've replaced the text copied from SMH/The Age above with a link to the story.

07 Mar 2013

Total posts 30

Apologies...here's a better link to the story:

https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/news/adf-officer-fined-1000-for-having-female-guest-in-hotel-quarantine-room/news-story/ee768ae99487d0d0c593218c0cbc2fd5

The take away is though...having the ADF oversee hotel quarantine does not suddenly make it foolproof. That in this case one of the rule breakers was also an ADF member also goes to show that it's a dangerous assumption to make.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Aug 2020

Total posts 7

From my perspective I think the international airlines should withdraw service. Just for a week. Let’s see what happens.

It’s not the role of QR or SQ agents to have to deal with bumping people continually who are in severe emotional distress. Eventually the airlines should go nuclear. They have no obligation to continue to operate at a loss.

QFF

16 May 2016

Total posts 63

Absolutely. The Aus Govt has already lost their national carrier who have run to the hills from international flights. What will they do if/when the remaining foreign carriers pull the pin? They're only barely viable because of the premiums on cargo. If they withdraw, Aus suddenly becomes very isolated. 

20 Jun 2020

Total posts 16

Also worth noting that the caps aren't applicable to those self funding their quarantine in a non-metro based property with an approved covid safe plan in place.

P
P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 86

Why should international airlines have to lead the fight on the draconian restrictions in place on Prison Island. The public, press, chambers of commerce, airport workers, tourist boards and businesses in general need to stand up and make their voices heard. Home quarantine and tagging/tracing technology are the solution. Not perfect but far better than current situation. Australia wake up!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 May 2019

Total posts 24

The responsibility for this debacle rests squarely at the feet of State governments. Sure the Commonwealth is responsible for Quarantine but it’s blindingly obvious that the very specific caps for each State have been imposed by the state governments, especially when they are implementing the Quarantine arrangements.

As with everything else in this country, Sydney is doing all the heavy lifting, taking 500 per day while other states and territories are taking numbers lower than that per week. Given the selfish approach other states are taking to border closures, the NSW government should limit access to Sydney hotel quarantine to NSW residents and returning former NSW residents only to stop freeloaders from other states transiting through Sydney. The ACT (which has an international airport and plenty of hotels) should also be forced to take 500 passengers a week given that bureaucrats and diplomats are happily flying around like nothing has changed.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1127

Greg I agree Canberra could take 500 a week but I don’t agree bureaucrats are flying around I think they’re all grounded and after a diplomat got caught not quarantining I suspect diplomats may not be that mobile either.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 155

Sydney and NSW once again pulling up the rest of the country taking 70% of all arrivals. Sick of always propping up the bludger states that are interested in political opportunism over proper medical advice.

Australia deserves to have all airlines suspend flights here to teach the federal and dumb state governments a message.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Aug 2020

Total posts 7

The same applies domestically.  The airlines are under no obligation to continue services unless contracted.  

If, through some chance there was a full grounding of QF, VA, QQ and ZL, what would happen?

No freight, no mail, no medical supplies such as isotopes from Lucas Heights, no ADF or parliamentarians, and hardly any FIFO.

Watch the entire country burn, after all, the airlines have been burnt to the ground by the state governments so I don't see why they cannot return the favour.

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 74

Some thoughts;

Firstly people coming from countries with Minimal COVID spread, such as New Zealand and Taiwan should bypass the hotel quarantine as resources need to focused on people coming from problem areas. I still might have these people do home quarantine. Maybe also have them not use the regular airport terminal, so not to mingle with other returnees.

Remote and regional accommodation should also be looked at for quarantine facilities, as some of the problems seem to stem from people popping out for a walk or a smoke and then interacting with others outside quarantine.

Also they should also consider giving people who opt in to electronic surveillance for the 2 week period the ability to skip the queue. Still allow people to opt out but have another option to reduce the backlog.

The government should also consider direct charters to various locations to minimise the chance of cross contamination.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

@Pcoder

The electronic tag will be an interesting experiment for WA. Not just the practical aspect of monitoring and enforcing the quarantine at home potentially over a very wide area (not everyone lives in Perth CBD) including the country, but potentially invites legal suits in the future for mental health damages, regardless of whatever legislative protections the state government think they have. In the eyes of the people, returned travellers does not sit in the same category as convicted criminals under home detention

Taiwanese and South Korean population who were using these tech are largely used to government surveillance and control, whereas there are enough people here who is willing to challenge these restrictions by any means to cause problems.

07 Mar 2013

Total posts 30

Does an electronic tag meet the government's objective though? The idea is that you don't mix with anyone. What if the traveller stays at home, electronically tagged, but is visited there by dozens of other people...

Etihad - Etihad Guest

23 Jun 2019

Total posts 5

Less than 1% of international travellers test positive for COVID, yet we detain 100% of them. 

Of the Australians in Australia tested positive for COVID, none are placed in hotel detention, 100% are allowed to quarantine at home.

Surely the risk is greater with those who have tested positive, than with the 99% of international travellers who have not.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 159

Ahh der but how did covid spread worldwide from China?   by telepathy?    obviously spread by  international air travellers  

07 Mar 2013

Total posts 30

@cbourl...nonsense...everyone knows it was spread by 5G!

Etihad - Etihad Guest

23 Jun 2019

Total posts 5

Totally agree. given the choice between the electronic tag, or hotel detention, i would choose the tag. Its crazy that fellow Australians object to the tag for privacy, and freedom reasons, yet are okay for innocent Australians to be detained, placed in solitary confinement, for 14 days, with effectively no rights. 

If you have not been in the hotel detention program, you cant profess to know how bad it is. Frankly, its also ineffective, as we have seen from the failure of the Victorian program, and recent cases of people absconding, or having visitors to their rooms, in other states. 

P
P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 86

The whole constitution in Australia is a mess. Remember the vote on the republic. All it was portrayed as was a vote to dump QE2 and change the flag. It should have been about abolishing state govts/legislation and standardizing everything in Australia. One education system, one driving registration/licence, one railway gauge etc etc etc. 99% of the intelligent people (minus all the politicians and civil servants) would have voted for it. A golden opportunity missed because once again no leadership or vision in public domain. Australia going backwards for last 25years and getting worse by the day. 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1127

P I’m not sure a vote to effectively abolish states would get 99% support somehow. WA voted to secede a while back: remember. 

most Cairns hotels are empty or near empty & would love to welcome a house full of guests for 2 weeks.

Cairns airport can handle any size aircraft.

It's a win-win. What is there to think about. Don't need a committee to study it. Someone make a decision & get on with it.

From Cairns there are plenty of domestic flights to Brisbane & beyond. Qld state border closure madness, is only inbound.

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 59

These are our fellow Aussies we are talking about here. The federal government should repatriate all our Aussies stuck overseas who wish to come home. This can be done by using the airforce's huge planes or chartering Qantas planes to bring our fellow Aussies home at a reasonable price. 

We should be utilising All our international airports Not just Sydney, Perth, Adelaide  and when it was open, Melbourne. There is also Camberra and Darwin. 

The should fill the planes up to capacity to help expedate the process after all everyone with be in hotel isolation for 14 days once they arrive home whether they are covid-19 positive or not. And there are so many empty hotel room around the country. The army could be deployed to oversee and enforce the quarantine process in each state so the police force can do their job and not tie up too many police officers with hotel quarantine duties.

The cold hard facts are the Liberal government is a reactive government not proactive and see these Aussies who probably dont pay tax in Australia as they work and or live overseas as unimportant. They, the liberal government have very little interest bringing them home in a timely fashion. 

This is a federal government issue and the federal government should oversee Every aspect when it comes to bring these Aussies back home to Australia and oversee the quarantine process too .

I thought we were all in this together, apparently not in the eyes of the liberal government who are happy to criticise all states within Australia but not forfill their obligations on a federal and international level.

How we going to pay to bring our Aussies home some will ask. With intrest rates being so low in the world the money could be loaned if there is none that can be allocated and have a tax placed on each future international airline ticket for both inbound and outbound flights like the USA does  with a 9/11 tax. I think it's about 5 dollars per flight per passenger, it could be slightly more.

The point is, they are Aussies just like you and me and need federal government help to get home ASAP.

I sick and tired of hearing excuses after excuses from this Liberal reactive,  not proactive Federal government.

I find their lack of empathy and lack of urgency to bring our fellow Aussies home very un-Australian.

OZPEKE 777

Qantas would be far too expensive.

eg. cheaper U.S. charter airlines have various sized widebodies such a B762/3/777. They could strop en route & pick up pax.

Know of one charter airline that has flown to Australia from USA many times, mostly for the military to places like Rockhampton & Darwin.

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 59

I'm sure a deal could be reached with Qantas and the government. I'm also sure Alan Joyce would be chomping at the bit to get his planes off the ground for international repatriation flights and it would be more of a streamlined process Aussie's bringing home Aussie's would hopefully cut out a lot of red tape. 

But you are right regular flyer, why would the Liberal government want to lift a finger to bring home its overseas citizens, happy for Australians to give their money to foreign Airline companies to try and get home. 

The Liberal government talks about getting the Australian economy moving again, using Qantas aircraft with Australian staff and pilots to bring home our fellow Aussies home would benefit everyone, the economy, Qantas, our citizens overseas, and the disappointing view by  a lot of Aussie's of our federal government in action on this topic, more can and should be done.

i'd prefer that other oz flag carrier virgin. Much better airline. Hasn't been such a good business lately.

Any 737 can do LA/Cairns in 2 stops with a full load, picking up passengers at say Hawaii & Fiji.

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 59

Virgin would be good to use as well regular flyer, but Qantas can move more people with its larger aircraft like the Dreamliner. Not all were sent to the USA to be stored. I have always been a virgin Australia customer and continue to be loyal to the brand. 

They are the reason most of us can fly now as they brought cheaper fares to the market when they first launched back in the days as Virgin blue.

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 59

And Carins international airport too.

CNS is perfect. Plenty of near empty hotels.

(if not from Qld would you rather be stuck in USA indefinitely or CNS for 2 weeks ?)

Friends stuck in California, just got a price for 1 way charter of approx 400 seat aircraft to do ONT(Ontario in Los Angeles) to Brisbane.

LAX/CNS is virtually exactly the same distance at LAX/BNE.

They obviously need someone to coordinate 400 people.

They didn't tell me the total price but from what they said would cost them per person if they filled it, gather it was something like USd$300k, which would work up around AU$1000/person based on 100% load factor, which could be realistic.

They said any freight revenue would come off the cost. Will ask them to confirm numbers & publish here when have them.

QFF

16 May 2016

Total posts 63

While there is growing noise on this issue, I'm not sure the Govt is listening. If they are, they don't care and have no intention to lift caps until review Oct 24th. 

I know for a fact that rooms (lack of supply) not the issue in Sydney. It is the manpower to manage all that quarantine. Easy solution to that - utilise all the travel and hospo staff currently unemployed or on jobkeeper. 

A really concerning lack of vision or change on this whole situation. We're six/seven months in.... Where's the airport testing? Where's the utilisation of newly unemployed to work quarantine jobs? Where are the improvements in contact tracing? Where are quarantine alternatives to people from low risk countries? NOTHING IS HAPPENING TO GET THINGS MOVING!! It's exasperating 

TZB88

this is what public servants do, or don't do. They are insanely slow.

Private enterprise could have this all sorted in 24 hours. Public servants need 3 months to think about it & then review it.

14 Sep 2020

Total posts 1

we could have a large modern widebody aircraft, maybe 10 to 15 years old, such as a B777 or A340, available to fly 350 to 375 Australians from almost anywhere in world, tomorrow.

Realistically, an email would need to go out to 1000 Australians stuck in one country & 1st 350 to 375 to pay would get the seats, so might need a week or so.

For example, there are something like 5000 to 10000 Australians stuck in USA, depending on who you believe.

Very easy for them to get to a major airport like LAX, as hundreds of flights a day into all 5 LA airports (LAX, BUR, ONT, LGB, SNA) from all over USA. Only restriction is they must wear a face mask on U.S. domestic flights.

From there, could do a nonstop to Cairns, same distance as LAX/BNE & could even do a stop to pick up other Australians stuck in Hawaii or Pacific Island nations.

Australian govt would need to give ok & underwrite cost, if for some reason, couldn't fill aircraft for some reason.

Local Cairns MP could surely organise to this to happen ASAP. Hotels are desperate for any income.

Let's just do it & stop talking about it.

Am working out some prices now, but it would not be expensive, based on full aircraft (no silly 30 or 50 passengers per aircraft limits)

Etihad - Etihad Guest

23 Jun 2019

Total posts 5

Certainly the focus now should be on raising the caps, we loose our humanity when we desert those in need.

Looking ahead though, we have to accept that COVID will be with us for some time, and the government will need to evolve to better control tools than just detention, lockdowns and north Korea style border controls. Most countries, with significantly lower death rates than ours, have moved on from these blunt tools that were used at the start of the pandemic when little was know.

I don't understand why travellers from low risk countries, those with COVID less than ours and with strong border controls themselves, could not do quarantine at home. Negligible risk in travellers from Taiwan, HK, Singapore to name a few, and the type of traveller is no longer returning holiday makers, its a small cadre of expat families and individuals who are more likely to take their responsibilities seriously.  This would free up hotel capacity for those from higher risk countries, and get people home.

With less than 1% of returning travellers testing positive for COVID, we detain 100% of them in hotels. Yet, of those Australians in Australia who test positive for CVID, or who are close contact to those who are positive, 100% of them are allowed to quarantine at home. We are not managing the risk, we are managing the politics of perception.

Frankly, returning travellers are no longer the problem, the failure of parts of the Australian community to follow health advice and take sensible precautions compounded by the governments failure to adapt policies as information, risk models and tools evolve, is.  

much easier to control 300+ people in 1 or 2 hotels in Cairns than in Sydney (also much cheaper)

Many cairns hotels could easily take a full plane load of 300 to 400 people assuming not all singles.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1127

LBHK one per cent of 4000 is 40 per week positive which is abut what it is outside of Victoria, and as we have seen with clusters, one can quickly infect 20 or 30 more. I can see why they don't want another 40 cases into the community each week. I agree hotel quarantine is blunt instrument, and may be they could reduce it to seven days with a (negative) test on arrival and another (negative) test before they leave. It will still miss some  but not that many and they could spend the next seven days in home quarantine, to make sure. Even the vaguest symptom in home quarantine then another test. Testing turnaround is not down to a day or so, so waiting is not a big issue.

qantas is an extremely expensive airline & aircraft don't have enough seats. Eg. charter aircraft can have 50 to 100% more seats than same qantas aircraft. No need for business or 1st on repat flights

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 46

Qatar should have this route DOH>CBR>SYD>DOH

Landing in Canberra, Canberra hotels need bit of boost, they could potentially do  this 2 times a week until the cap is lifted or increased. They already have facilities at Canberra.  Still pick up passengers on the way from Sydney. 


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Airlines call for the government to lift limits on inbound travellers