American Airlines has announced that it will bring forward its restart of Sydney to Los Angeles flights with a non-stop service by November.The world’s largest airline had earlier planned a break of the Pacific route until mid-2021.
However, made a change of decision following the Australia’s strict quarantine rules in place and Qantas’s decision to ground its international fleet until next year, American Airlines decided to bring the flights back early.
According to a media report, the Dallas–Fort Worth-based carrier will fly from Sydney Airport (SYD) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) four times per week starting Tuesday, November 12.
The report further explained that, American Airlines will be placing one of its 20 Boeing 777-300ERs with its signature Flagship first class cabin. Seats on the flight will be available to those exempt from Australia’s restrictive COVID-19 travel ban and include the following:
- You are a medical professional, and your reason for travel is due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Your journey is essential for the conduct of critical industries and businesses
- You are traveling to receive urgent medical care that is not available in Australia
- You are traveling on urgent and unavoidable business
- You are traveling because of humanitarian or compassionate needs
- Your travel is in the national interest of Australia
To support your claim for a travel exemption, you must provide the following documents:
- Marriage certificate/s
- Birth certificate/s
- Death certificate/s
- Proof of relationship (for example, shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account, etc.
- Proof that you are moving to another country on a long term basis such as leases, job offers, and evidence your goods are being transported
- Proof of your current valid visa, including in Australia and/or overseas
- Letter from a doctor or hospital about any medical treatment/condition with statements on why travel is necessary
- Letter from an employer showing why the travel is necessary or that the work undertaken by you is critical
- Statement or evidence to show when you wish to return to Australia
- Any other proof you may have to support your claims
According to the official Australian government website:
“All evidence supporting a travel exemption claim needs to be officially translated into English. You should apply for an exemption for at least two weeks, but not more than three months before your planned travel. Please make only one request per person. Duplicate requests will delay the assessment.
If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans. If granted an exemption, you must take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.”
Travel to Australia is closed except for Australian citizens, permanent residents, or those who have been granted an exemption. All people arriving in Australia must self-quarantine for 14-days at a designated facility at their own expense.
American Airlines and Qantas codeshare
During the other days of the week, the flight will operate with cargo only, giving the airline a daily flight to Australia like it had before the coronavirus outbreak.
Both American Airlines and Qantas have a joint venture agreement on the route, which should mean that Qantas passengers affected by cancellations can re-book with American Airlines.
From what we have read, getting an Australian travel exception can be difficult.