Etihad Airways to restart flights to Sydney on November 1

Australia is reopening its borders to residents

Etihad Airways has announced that it will resume operations to Sydney, Australia, by November 1.

Bookings for flights between Abu Dhabi and the Australian city are already open, with return economy flights at the beginning of next month starting from Dh6,595 ($1,795).

In a tweet announcing the news, the airline specified the flights will give “Australians overseas the opportunities to return home to visit their families and friends”, but warned seats would be limited.

Earlier this month, Australia announced it would be reopening its borders in November, to allow residents and citizens to enter and leave the country. "It's time to give Australians their lives back," the country’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said.

He also announced that vaccinated residents would be able to home quarantine for seven days on their return, as opposed to the current 14-day hotel quarantine.

Travel will not reopen to foreign visitors at this time, although the government said it was working "towards welcoming tourists back to our shores".

To combat the pandemic, Australia has implemented some of the world's strictest border rules. An estimated 30,000 expatriate Australians have been separated from their families since March 20 last year and many more waited months to gain entry to the country.

Foreign residents were also trapped in Australia, knowing they were unlikely to regain entry if they left the country. More than 100,000 requests to enter or leave the country were denied in the first five months of 2021 alone, according to data form Australia's Department of Home Affairs.

Updated: October 21st 2021, 6:06 AM