Don’t Expect to Fly to the US Until There’s a COVID Vaccine


Your big dreams of visiting New York City may have to wait a while, at least until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has said the national carrier will likely not resume flights to the US until a vaccine for the virus is distributed. He also doesn’t expect the airline to resume international flights anywhere until at least mid-2021.

In a trading update delivered on Thursday, August 20, whereby Joyce delivered the airline’s FY20 results and revealed an almost $2 billion loss in the last year, he said: “We have put the 787s in long-term storage which fly transcontinental and we believe the earliest we will see the international borders opening up is the middle of next year.

Elaborating on plans to fly to America, he said: “The US, with the level of prevalence there, it’s probably going to take some time and probably going to need a vaccine before we could see that happening.

“A lot of the medical advice we have, and governments around the world have, is that we could potentially see the vaccine by the middle (or) the end of next year. Countries like the US may be the first country to have widespread use of that vaccine, so that could mean that the US is seen as a market by the end of 2021.”

Even still, Joyce says Qantas has “parked the A380 for at least three years”. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline’s fleet of A380 aircrafts serve destinations in the United States, Middle East and Europe.

The US has seen more than 5.57 million cases of COVID-19 and 174,000 people have died from the virus.

The travel ban continues for all Australians, and according to the experts, there is no firm word on when this could change.

Infection rates overseas are a cause of concern for officials and are understandably deterring a decision to open borders for travel in and out of the country.

Finance minister Mathias Cormann said recently: “We are taking a very cautious approach. From where we are here today, we can’t foresee the timetable by which international borders will be able to open.”

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