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Qantas: International flying in July? Not so fast says Michael McCormack, Australian Transport minister

Qantas: International flying in July? Not so fast says Michael McCormack, Australian Transport minister

A few days ago, Qantas popped back bookable international destinations onto its website. Given that Qantas Chief Alan Joyce has already said that a valid vaccine certificate will be a prerequisite for travel, many took this to mean that the Australian Government would be relaxing border restrictions.

Well, you can forget about that, says our Deputy Prime Minister, and Transport Minister:

Statement on Qantas international ticket sales

The health and safety of Australians remains the Morrison-McCormack Government’s top priority, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said.

International borders will be opened when international arrivals do not pose a risk to Australians.

Decisions about when international travel resumes will be made by the Australian Government.

The Australian Government is working on travel arrangements with countries, such as New Zealand, that have low community infections.

Operations and ticket sales on particular routes are commercial decisions for airlines.The Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development

OK, so that means the Australian Government and not Qantas will be determining the opening of Australian borders.

On a more positive note – he still leaves open the possibility of travel bubbles, well at least with New Zealand.

2PAXfly Takeout

The aviation industry has a difficult road ahead when it comes to sustainability. It’s going to require a relative revolution in technology, with ‘electric planes’ or hydrogen planes, or some form of jet engine that doesn’t require a carbon based fuel. And that is going to require the development of an alternative to jet engines probably.

It’s a big ask. It will take time to develop.

This move to home grown and manufactured SAF is a first step – maybe even a baby step in a very long road of innovation. In the long run, US$200 million won’t even touch the sides.

This is just a bit of an assertion of authority and maybe a rebuke to Alan Joyce, but it doesn’t really change reality. I wouldn’t be making any international bookings with Qantas with any confidence in July 2021.

August is a completely different matter!

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