From December 2021, flights to COVID-safe destinations such as Singapore, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and Canada will commence. Provided that some or all of the two-way travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand opens then flights between the two countries will go on sale. Flights to Hong Kong are set to re-start in February 2022.Flights to riskier destinations with low levels of vaccination will be pushed out to at least April 2022 at this stage.
These international travel plans are based on the Australian National Cabinet’s Phase C of re-opening plan.
Phase C will be triggered when the vaccination rate among eligible Australians reaches 80%. Phase C will see:
- No caps on returning vaccinated Australians
- All restrictions on outbound vaccinated Australians lifted
- Highly targeted lockdowns only
- The travel bubble extended for unrestricted travel to new candidate countries
- The gradual re-opening of inward and outward travel with safe countries and proportionate quarantine and reduced quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated inbound travellers
Things may change!
While it’s expected that factors such as flight schedules, aircraft capacities and travel conditions need to align with Covid-19 safety measures, there could be other changes on the cards, specifically the direct flight from Perth to London.
Western Australia premier Mark McGowan has taken a hard stance when it comes to opening the Western Australian borders to ensure the health and safety of the WA population. The issue with this is that the direct Qantas flight to London departs from Perth. Qantas predicts that this direct flight to London could be more popular than ever with travellers potentially wanting to avoid stop-overs at congested airports. If travellers can’t enter Perth to make use of this flight route to London, where does that leave travellers and Qantas?
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is currently investigating relocating this direct flight option to Darwin. With a similar flight time to Perth from London and its use as a hub for repatriation flights, Darwin is a favourable choice.
Needless to say, Mark McGowan isn’t happy about this potential shift especially since $15 million was spent upgrading Perth’s terminal to secure this route. But while Mark McGowan feels he is doing what is best for his state by closing borders to the rest of Australia, Qantas needs to do what is best for their business and their customers.
While there are no doubt finer details to be confirmed in the lead up to the re-commencement of international travel, it still remains an exciting prospect.
Could this step towards international travel possibly lead to the Australian migration program resuming sooner rather than later? Time will tell.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of migration contact the team at Visa Solutions Australia on 1800 828 008.
While Australian borders are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel exemptions may apply under the following circumstances:
- A traveller has a compassionate or compelling reason to visit Australia
- Overseas workers holding a Subclass 482 or 400 visa are required to undertake a job in Australia that cannot be filled by a local employee
Visa Solutions Australia has been successful in acquiring a broad range of exemptions, from critical workers to those needing to travel on compassionate grounds.