Airline stands by promise to resume UK-Australia flights by end of year

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Airline carrier Qantas has confirmed that they still plan to resume travel between the UK and Australia before the end of the year.

The airline is standing by plans to reopen flights to Britain from mid-December, along with routes to Fiji, Singapore, the United States, Canada and Japan.

The move is in line with the lifting of Australia’s overseas travel ban, which was due to end on September 17 but has been delayed by three months.

In an email to its customers, Qantas said: “With vaccinations continuing to roll out across Australia, we are getting ready to reunite our customers with their family, friends, colleagues and favourite destinations around the globe.”

Qantas aircraft pictured at Sydney Airport in August (EPA)
Qantas aircraft pictured at Sydney Airport in August (EPA)

In a statement in August, Qantas said the ability to fly non-stop between Australia and London is “expected to be in even higher demand post-Covid”.

The airline is investigating using Darwin as a transit point, which has been Qantas’ main entry for repatriation flights, as an alternative (or in addition) to its existing Perth hub given conservative border policies in Western Australia.

Meanwhile the UK plans to send four million doses of the Pfizer Covid vaccine to Australia as part of a deal for jabs.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the move, in a press conference in Canberra, just days after his country also secured 500,000 about-to-expire Pfizer doses from Singapore.

“The plane is on the tarmac now. It will be leaving tomorrow,” Mr Morrison said.

“Those doses will be coming over the course of the next few weeks, which will see us double the Pfizer doses that we have during September.

“This means from Downing Street to Down Under, we are doubling down on what the Pfizer doses are here in Australia this month.”

Australia has one of the slowest vaccine rollouts among wealthy countries, with just 36.4 per cent of people over the age of 16 fully vaccinated, according to the Australian Immunisation Register.

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