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COVID-19: Quarantine hotel capacity limits bite International airline arrivals passenger limits

COVID-19: Quarantine hotel capacity limits bite International airline arrivals passenger limits

The Australian version of The Guardian website is reporting that some airlines have been given ‘zero’ passenger allowances for some flights resulting in empty planes flying into the country. That means they will need to rely on cargo and outbound passengers for their revenue.

The new allocations will almost certainly result in a decrease in flight frequencies into Sydney rather than just fewer passengers per flight.


A third of flights into Sydney have these ‘zero’ passenger allocations. The other 2/3rds get 25-26 passengers as of 14 July when the total weekly capacity limit drops to 1,505.


For Melbourne, capacity limits for flights drop to 11-13 per flight, with a few flights cut to ‘zero’.


Passenger limits from 5-12 per flight – if frequencies are reduced.


Same as for Perth – passenger limits from 5-12 per flight – if frequencies are reduced.

Sydney Airport

Fare Prices

The Guardian is reporting prices as high as AU$36,000 (as reported by but I’m not finding these. Highest I have found on Google Flights is AU$26,000 on British Airways and Emirates via Glasgow and Dubai on 30 July.

I’m not seeing too much evidence of price gouging – well no more or less than prior to the restrictions.


Australian returning travellers are outraged.

The Australian Government has promised to fund around 20 additional repatriation flights into Darwin with quarantine at the Howard Springs facility. These flights are independent of the revised Hotel Quarantine limits.

The new capacity limits will doubtless affect some who have already booked fares back to Australia. As in normal times, if you have status with the airline, paid more for your fare, or booked in business or first class, you are more likely to retain a seat if your flight is still operating under these post 14 July quarantine capacity limits.

Who’s flying?

Looks like Etihad and Singapore Airlines, according to The Guardian will continue their services, while All Nippon Airways and Cathay Pacific are expecting disruptions.

2PAXfly Takeout

I love digital, except when my phone dies, which happened to me on the last night of my recent visit to New Zealand

The reduction in caps was never going to end well. In my view, the blame firmly resides on the shoulders of the federal government and their failure to do what we have always done when pandemics have hit – that is build specialised quarantine facilities. Hello North Head!

While I know there are all sorts of individual reasons for people who have travelled overseas during the pandemic, some of them heart-wrenching. There are others who left for less personal/emotional reasons, knowing that the government had closed borders, or advised Australians to return home more than a year ago. For those, my sympathy is limited.

Maybe my hard-hearted-Hannah approach is because I should have been on a plane tomorrow to Wellington in New Zealand, and now I’m not.

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