In what would be a huge boost for the Japanese ski season, Qantas has outlined plans for the resumption of international travel to some countries, likely including Japan, by mid-December. The plan would be contingent on National Cabinet’s ‘Phase C’ vaccination threshold of 80 percent being met and is based on current projections.

Japan was one of a number of “COVID-safe” countries identified in the press release published by Qantas. The list also includes Singapore, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Fiji.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce acknowledged that some might view Qantas’s plans as “optimistic”.

“The prospect of flying overseas might feel a long way off, especially with New South Wales and Victoria in lockdown, but the current pace of the vaccine rollout means we should have a lot more freedom in a few months’ time.

“It’s obviously up to government exactly how and when our international borders re-open, but with Australia on track to meet the 80 per cent trigger agreed by National Cabinet by the end of the year, we need to plan ahead for what is a complex restart process.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to happen, including training for our people and carefully bringing aircraft back into service. We’re also working to integrate the IATA travel pass into our systems to help our customers prove their vaccine status and cross borders.

“We can adjust our plans if the circumstances change, which we’ve already had to do several times during this pandemic. Some people might say we’re being too optimistic, but based on the pace of the vaccine rollout, this is within reach and we want to make sure we’re ready,” added Mr Joyce.

NATIONAL CABINET ‘PHASE C’ REOPENING PLAN

  • Triggered when vaccine rate among eligible Australians reaches 80 per cent
  • Highly targeted lockdowns only
  • No caps on returning vaccinated Australians
  • Lift all restrictions on outbound travel for vaccinated Australians
  • Extend travel bubble for unrestricted travel to new candidate countries
  • Gradual reopening of inward and outward international travel with safe countries and proportionate
  • quarantine and reduced requirements for fully vaccinated inbound travellers

Read the complete press release here.