The NSW-Victoria border has reopened after more than four months with flights resuming from Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian closed the border with Victoria 138 days ago to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The first flight from Melbourne touched down in Sydney shortly before 8.00am with a total of 25 planes due to arrive in Sydney from Melbourne today.
The opening was welcomed by Qantas boss Alan Joyce, who said the Sydney/Melbourne route was the second largest route in the world before COVID-19.
“We’re still a long way off having it back to full strength, but the sharp rebound in travel demand we’re seeing gives us a lot of confidence,” he said. “As borders continue to open, we’re expecting a boom in domestic travel.”
Joyce also said it was “really good news” for the carrier’s employees.
“Today, people who haven’t worked since March are going to be on an aircraft for the first time,” he said.
“We’re hoping that we get better news with the Queensland border at the end of this month and the Western Australian border as soon as possible, so we can get even more of those people back to work.”
Virgin Australia will also ramp up flights on the route operating 28 return services a week with plans to progressively increase flight frequency ahead of Christmas.
Joyce also said he expects Qantas could return to 60 per cent of its pre-coronavirus domestic capacity by Christmas if Queensland and West Australia relax their respective border restrictions.