Qantas Suspends United States Flight Sales Until Late-2021

The chances of Qantas resuming its popular transpacific flights to North America were setback last week after the Australian airline blocked bookings until the end of October 2021.

Qantas normally flies to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Honolulu. In addition, flights to Chicago were slated to start this year.

With the new development it seems Qantas won’t be heading back to its North American destinations anytime soon.

Except for some repatriation and government-subsidized flights, Qantas grounded all its international flying earlier this year. While the airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce, has kept his options open regarding international flights to some destinations, he has been fairly unequivocal about North America.

Qantas had previously canceled its international flying through to March 2021 and started issuing refunds. Now, in a move that could indicate 2021 will be similar to 2020 when it comes to international travel, the United States is off Qantas’ books for a further 12 months. The news was broken late last week by Executive Traveller.

Given Mr Joyce’s previous comments and no improvements in the broader operating environment, last week’s decision isn’t surprising.

“The United States, with the level of (COVID-19) prevalence there, is probably going to take some time. It’s probably going to need a vaccine before we can see that happening,” Mr Joyce previously said in a media briefing.

“But countries like the United States may be among the first countries to have widespread use of any vaccine. That could mean that the United States is seen as a market by the end of 2021.”

However, Qantas’s decision does leave the transpacific market between the United States and Australia wide open to competing airlines, particularly the North American airlines who are back on the route.


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