Qantas has announced its plans to recommence international flights to COVID-safe destinations just in time for Christmas. 

The airline announced on Thursday that it hopes to gradually bring back overseas flights once 80 per cent of the Australian population is vaccinated against Covid-19.

From mid-December, the Australian airline will begin to restart flights to destinations like Singapore, the US, Japan, UK and Canada, pending government decisions.

“Based on the current vaccination projection rates and the Australian Government’s plan for reopening borders, we are preparing for Qantas and Jetstar international flights to resume as follows,” an email from Qantas read.

The announcement lists the international flights as follows:

From mid-December 2021, between Australia and Fiji, Singapore, the United States, Japan, United Kingdom and Canada.

From mid-December 2021, between Australia and New Zealand in line with the anticipated restart of the trans-Tasman travel bubble.

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From mid-February 2022, between Australia and Hong Kong.

From April 2022 onwards, between Australia and cities including Bali, Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City and Johannesburg.

Qantas added: “This remains dependent on Government decisions in coming months, so we’ll keep you updated if the plans change.”

It comes after Qantas said today that its underlying loss before tax for the last financial year was $1.83 billion and the statutory loss was $2.35 billion.

“This loss shows the impact that a full year of closed international borders and more than 330 days of domestic travel restrictions had on the national carrier,” Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce said.

“The trading conditions have frankly been diabolical.”

Despite the challenging trading conditions, Qantas was planning to resume domestic and some international flights when higher COVID-19 vaccination targets are hit.

“It’s obviously up to government exactly how and when our international borders re-open, but with Australia on track to meet the 80 per cent trigger agreed by National Cabinet by the end of the year, we need to plan ahead for what is a complex restart process,” he said.

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