Qantas makes shock change to overseas flights after quarantine scrapped in NSW

International travel will take-off faster than expected after Australia’s national carrier announced it will restart its overseas flight schedule two weeks early.

From November 1, Qantas will launch a limited number of return services to London and Los Angeles out of Sydney.

The shock change follows a decision by the NSW government to scrap hotel and home quarantine for fully vaccinated citizens and residents in a bid to reintroduce Sydney to the world.

Qantas planes lined up with the city in the background at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport on September 01, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. Source: Getty Images
Qantas will bring forward the restart of its international flights by two weeks to 1 November 2021. Source: Getty Images

Tourists will soon be able to follow suit, though a date hasn't been set by the Commonwealth.

Under the new rules, travellers would need to test negative for Covid-19 before boarding their flight home and after landing.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce described the move as “a massive step towards life as we knew it”.

“In just a little over two weeks, Australians around the world can fly into Sydney and people from around Australia can leave on trips they’ve been waiting almost two years to take. We hope other states will do the same once they reach the 80 per cent target.

“We have thousands of our pilots and cabin crew wanting to get back to work and they will be thrilled at today’s announcement. It will still be a long time before international travel returns to normal but this is a fantastic start.

“Removing quarantine for the fully vaccinated is a sensible approach and brings New South Wales into line with many other global cities.”

A Qantas Dreamline, Boeing 787 takes off at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport on September 01, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. Source: Getty Images
The national carrier has welcomed the decision by the NSW government to remove quarantine arrangements for fully vaccinated arrivals. Source: Getty Images

The November 1 flight schedule

Qantas will begin operating up to five return flights a week from Sydney to London and up to four return flights a week from Sydney to Los Angeles with its Boeing 787 Dreamliners from 1 November.

These initial flights are limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and parents.

Other destinations, including Singapore, Fiji and Vancouver, are still scheduled for December 18.

Flights will continue to be added in December and into 2022 to meet demand.

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