We’ve heard from the government, we’ve heard from experts, we’ve heard from our next door neighbour, and now, we’ve heard from airline execs themselves: international travel to and from Australia probably won’t start up again until next year.
This week, a bunch of head honchos from a bunch of major airlines got together at the CAPA Centre for Aviation summit in Sydney. Traveller used this opportunity to pick their brains about how soon we’ll all be able to scoot off abroad.
While Qantas CEO Alan Joyce admitted international travel won’t be starting up again anytime soon, he said he is hopeful for next year.
“At the lightning speed [vaccine development is] happening, we may see earlier operations of international services,” he told Traveller.
“So I think there’s reasons to be optimistic, particularly with testing and particularly with a vaccine that could change that dynamic in 2021.”
To that end, the airline’s already parked most of its long-haul planes until next year anyway.
Meanwhile, Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah is still eyeing out that trans-Tasman travel bubble which seemed so, so close just a few months ago.
“If that opens up soon we’d jump at it because we’ve got aircraft we want to deploy and New Zealand is part of our future plans,” he told the website.
“The sooner we can be back in there, the better.”
Tbh most of this is what we’ve been hearing already. But it’s significant because if there was a serious chance things to start up again a moment sooner, the airlines would be the first ones harping on about it.
At the same summit, Alan Joyce also touted the potential for a new, 15-minute COVID-19 test to help travel get up and running again.
Now that summer’s approaching, it’s time to start crossing those fingers.