Qantas cancels almost all overseas flights through to late October

It's another clear-cut sign that overseas travel will remain largely out of reach for some time to come.

By David Flynn, June 18 2020
Qantas cancels almost all overseas flights through to late October

Qantas has cancelled all international flights through to October 24 2020, with the exception of services to New Zealand.

The airline is in the process of advising travel agents as well as passengers booked on affected flights, with the changes soon expected to flow through to the Qantas website.

October 24 marks the cut-over to the Northern Winter 2020 airline schedule period as defined by the International Air Transport Association.

"With Australia's borders set to remain closed for some time, we have cancelled most international flights until late October," a Qantas spokesperson said in a media statement.

"We still have some flights scheduled across the Tasman in the coming months, with the expected travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand."

New Zealand is expected to be the first country to open its borders to Australian travellers without the need for them to undergo a 14-day quarantine period at either end of the journey, under a program being developed by the joint Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group comprised of government agencies, health experts, airports, Qantas and Air New Zealand.

Read more: Australia-New Zealand flights set for likely September start

"Should travel between Australia and other countries open up and demand returns, we can add more flights back into our schedule," the airline said.

Earlier today, Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said that "open tourist-related travel in or out of Australia... remains quite some distance off", and agreed that – with the exception of some countries international travel would likely remain prohibited until 2021.

Read more: Could Australia's borders be closed until 2021?

Passengers on flights cancelled by Qantas are entitled to a full refund or can have their booking turned into travel credit, which can used through to December 21, 2022, and also split across multiple bookings instead of being restricted to a single booking.

This could, for example, allow the travel credit for one international flight to be used for several domestic flights. 

Also read: Qantas, ACCC clash over refunds for cancelled flights

As previously reported, Qantas expects its entire flagship Airbus A380 fleet to be grounded "for some time" and is now conducting a sweeping review of its entire international fleet to reshape the airline around a prolonged downturn in post-coronavirus international travel.

Although all 12 A380s will remain in hibernation, the six superjumbos which have yet to be upgraded with the latest business class seats and inflight lounges are tipped to be sent to California's Mojave Desert 'boneyard' for long-term storage.

"There is a potential to bring all 12 (A380s) back (into service), but there is a potential to bring less than 12 back," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce told Executive Traveller on May 5, when he announced the review.

"That will depend on what the recovery scenario looks like.... we don’t know when the big markets like the US and the UK, which use the A380s, will open, and when,” Joyce added.

But Joyce was certain that "the Qantas of 2021 and 2022 will not be the Qantas of 2019."

Read more: Qantas to mothball its flagship Airbus A380s

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.

QFP

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 56

Is Jetstar doing the same with their international routes?

07 Mar 2013

Total posts 24

Jetstar is looking zeroed out now until 23/10.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 31

So DL starting again in July, SQ, CX and EK are increasing. QR never left. And QF don't want to operate.

I guess the rumour of QF shrinking to Domestic only is true. Only reason flights after October not cancelled is to hold onto cash.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 364

Until such time as the 14 day quarantine for arriving passengers is removed, there is no point in Qantas restarting international flights. With the cancellation of QF services up to 23 October, you can bet that's because Qantas has been advised by the federal authorities that the quarantine won't be removed before then.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 700

The number of people being found positive during quarantine 5-10 per day (on a few thousand admittedly) is enough to keep quarantine in. With people paying for their own quarantine from fairly soon there may be more movement but just for longer term visitors like students.

Qantas

03 Feb 2016

Total posts 11

This comment shows you have very little awareness of the current international border restrictions.

Aus citizens need an exemption to travel outbound, why would QF send aircraft out that are loss making?

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 31

No need to be personal.

QF are assuming restrictions stay in place until end of October. Govt restriction in place until mid September, subject to review.

There is still significant cargo traffic. Essential travel, whilst very low, still exists. April was the low point and travel is picking up, albeit slowly.

It seems other airlines want to at least try and get back to work (not saying they will get it right) but QF has given up on International.

18 Sep 2018

Total posts 4

Unless there is a genuine second wave globally, it's very likely Australia's borders will open much sooner. Countries in Europe that have been far more affected than Australia are already opening up for tourism with no quarantine. If that happens smoothly the pressure on the Australian government to open our borders will grow by the week (from travel firms, unis, industry)- just like it has with state borders.

29 May 2020

Total posts 8

Europe is still seeing numbers per day that Australia has seen in total. I can't see us opening up until that calms down.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 700

They will open with two week selfpaid quarantine. They would be mad to let people if from high case load countries to a very low case load country without quarantine. They can do it in Europe as they all have similar case loads. Where they don't such as Greece it is on a case by case basis. In Greece it is subject to a test and quarantine until an all clear.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 130

robertino, you make a good point but in reality European countries are opening up to each other, not the non-Schengen region. Remember that European countries are not so much sovereign nations as states or provinces. Normally, driving from Germany to Switzerland or France to Spain is like crossing the QLD-NSW border. You don't even notice you've crossed over except that the language has changed. The Schengen area has many common laws and standards and it's therefore not surprising that Europe is opening up. However, Asian countries, like Australia, won't be open for business until at least October, possibly later.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2018

Total posts 7

So when do the New Zealand flight cancellations extend to?

3D
3D

04 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Wonder when Qantas will pay their creditors/customers for the credits on fully refundable tickets ...... they have owed me for nearly 3 months!

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 700

3D my credits have just been extended to the end of 2022.

3D
3D

04 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Hi, I am waiting for a refund

17 Feb 2020

Total posts 1

I had flights to JFK cancelled last night. After speaking to Qantas for a refund earlier today, I was told 8-10 weeks.

My Melbourne/London/Munich flights cancelled last night. Qantas Platinum service centre today said 6-8 weeks for the requested refund.

3D
3D

04 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

Hi Snapperhead, you will be lucky to see a credit within that time as I have been waiting longer than 10 weeks. The part that annoys me most is Qantas bragging about its liquidity and not paying its Loyal customers refunds .... we are it's Interest free financiers.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Mar 2019

Total posts 11

My QF flights PER-SYD-HNL in August cancelled today. AmexTravel says 8 weeks for a refund including travel credit.

11 Apr 2018

Total posts 9

A lot of talk about Qantas refunds, how does Jetstar avoid criticism for dodging refunds? Admittedly they may change their tune after today's news - but as of last couple of weeks, they flatly refuse any request for a refund.


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