Qantas boss says international travel unlikely to restart before July 2021

The airline has revealed its predictions on the future of international travel.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has confirmed the airline is unlikely to resume international flights before July 2021, after reporting major revenue loss for the 2019/2020 financial year.

Qantas Group reported a $2.7 billion loss, due to what Joyce described as “the worst trading conditions in our 100 year history”.

qantas international boss Alan Joyce
Alan Joyce

“Let me start by saying this is clearly not a standard set of results for the Qantas Group,” he said.

“To put it simply, we’re an airline that can’t really fly to many places – at least for now.”

As part of the airline’s three-year COVID-19 recovery plan, around 4,000 of at least 6,000 redundancies are expected to be finalised by the end of September and around 20,000 will continue to be stood down.

Travel outlook

As part of its end of financial year report, the airline outlined its key assumptions and indicators about the outlook of air travel.

Qantas stated its international network is “unlikely to restart before July 2021; possibly earlier for trans Tasman”.

Given current border restrictions, just 20 per cent of Qantas’ pre-COVID domestic capacity is scheduled for August.

‘Opportunity on the horizon’

Joyce said the global pandemic will continue to impact the business for the year ahead.

“We know FY21 will be another tough year,” he said. “But there is opportunity on the horizon.

“Hard decisions in the current climate are largely about survival – and also about eventually being able to grow again,” he said.

Following Virgin Australia’s recent decision to let go of its long-haul fleet, Qantas will potentially be in a unique position post-pandemic.

“Coming out of this crisis, we’ll be the only Australian airline that can fly long haul,” said Joyce.


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