“With Australia’s borders set to remain closed for some time, we have canceled most international flights until late October,” Qantas said in a statement on Thursday.
A Qantas spokesperson pointed out that the country’s tourism minister, Simon Birmingham, recently said Australia’s international borders with most countries are unlikely to reopen until 2021.
There’s one possible exception: New Zealand, Australia’s neighbor across the Tasman Sea. Politicians have discussed the possibility of creating a travel corridor between the two countries — though nothing has been formally agreed yet. Currently, anyone traveling between the two countries is subject to a two-week quarantine. Non-residents of either country are banned from even flying those routes, with few exceptions.
Qantas said that it still has “some flights” scheduled between the two countries “in the coming months.”
“Should travel between Australia and other countries open up and demand returns, we can add more flights back into our schedule,” the airline added.
Although Qantas is canceling most of its international flights, a spokesperson for the airline told CNN Business that it is still seeing increasing demand for travel within Australia as local restrictions are slowly lifted. Qantas Group’s domestic passenger numbers within the country doubled this week to 64,000 people.
— Julia Hollingsworth contributed to this report.