Qantas cancels international flights until October as overseas tourism off the agenda until 2021

Qantas has cancelled international flights until late October except for services to New Zealand with the Federal Government signalling it won’t open borders to international visitors until next year.

“With Australia’s borders set to remain closed for some time, we have cancelled most international flights until late October,” Qantas said in a statement.

“We still have some flights scheduled across the Tasman in the coming months, with the expected travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.

“Should travel between Australia and other countries open up and demand returns, we can add more flights back into our schedule.”

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said overseas travel will likely be off the agenda until 2021.

“I do sadly think that in terms of open tourist-related travel in or out of Australia, that remains quite some distance off,” Birmingham told the National Press Club.

“Just because of the practicalities of the volumes that are involved and the need for us to first and foremost keep putting health first.

“I hope that we can look eventually at some of those countries who have similar successes in suppressing the spread of COVID to Australia and New Zealand, and in working through that with those countries, find safe pathways to deal with essential business travel that helps to contribute to jobs across our economies.”

Birmingham urged Australians to do their “patriotic duty” and focus their travel plans domestically.

“There’s still nothing like Australia for adventure, nature, food and wine, outdoor experiences and vibrant cities,” he said.