Qantas to restart international flights to 22 destinations, including London and Los Angeles, in October

The Australian airline will resume flights four months later than planned

Qantas will resume flights to most of its international destinations in late October. Courtesy Qantas
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Australian airline Qantas intends to resume international flights by October 31.

That's a delay of four months for the Sydney-headquartered airline, which had previously been selling tickets for a schedule that would see flights resuming from July 1.

The airline has said that refunds will be issued for any tickets sold for international flights between July and October.

Its new plan is designed to align "with the expected time frame for Australia's Covid-19 vaccine roll-out to be effectively complete", the airline said.

Flying to 22 destinations: London, Singapore, Los Angeles and Johannesburg

Qantas will resume flying to 22 international destinations, including London, by late October. Unsplash

International flights to 22 destinations will resume, meaning the airline will be flying to 88 per cent of its pre-Covid overseas network.

London, Singapore, Los Angeles and Johannesburg are among the routes set to restart. Flights to New York, Santiago and Osaka are not scheduled to resume at this time.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, Qantas will also allow international travellers more flexibility on bookings. Unlimited flight date changes with no service charges will apply to new reservations.

Qantas's low-cost airline Jetstar is also set to resume international flights to the 13 destinations in its network at the same time. The Melbourne-headquartered airline will adjust frequencies to suit the current demand for travel.

More trans-Tasman flights

Qantas will ramp up flights between Australia and New Zealand from July 1. Unsplash

Qantas also plans to increase flights between Australia and New Zealand. The airline will ramp up flights between the two countries from Thursday, July 1.

The airline also has capacity to respond to any other travel bubbles that may open between Australia and any other countries.

Superjumbos remain in storage

Capacity on international flights is set to be lower than before the pandemic. With demand for travel not set to recover fully until 2024, Qantas will adjust frequencies and aircraft to suit.

In 2020, Qantas celebrated 100 years of flying. It also sent most of its long-haul fleet into retirement or long-term storage.

The airline's final 747 aircraft departed Sydney in July.

Its fleet of superjumbo A380s have been parked up in California, where they are expected to remain until at least 2023.

In January, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said he was confident air travel would return. He also revisited plans to introduce the world's longest passenger flights from Australia to London and New York.

Known as Project Sunrise, the ultra-long-haul flights were initially scheduled for early 2023, but Joyce has now said that Qantas hopes to launch these in 2024.