With the exception of flights to and from New Zealand, Australians will not be hopping onto regular Qantas (ASX: QAN) flight services overseas until at least late December 2021 after the airline delayed its planned resumption of international travel today.
The update comes after the Federal Government last night revised its anticipated timeline for the completion of Australia's vaccine rollout to end-2021 and its timeline for significantly reopening our international borders to mid-2022.
As such, Qantas has scrapped an end-October 2021 goal to get international flights back up in the air.
"We remain optimistic that additional bubbles will open once Australia's vaccine rollout is complete to countries who, by then, are in a similar position, but it's difficult to predict which ones at this stage," says Qantas.
"This planning assumption will allow the Qantas Group and Australia to be ready to take advantage of pockets of tourism and trade opportunity as they emerge in a post-COVID world.
"We will keep reviewing these plans as we move towards December and circumstances evolve."
Any customers with a booking between 31 October 2021 and 19 December 2021 will be contacted by the airline.
"In the meantime, the Qantas Group will continue to provide critical repatriation and freight flights overseas, and support the recovery of travel at home," says Qantas.
"The resurgence of domestic travel remains the most important element of the Group's recovery."
Shares in Qantas are down 3.43 per cent to $4.50 per share at 3.27pm AEST.
Updated at 3.50pm AEST on 12 May 2021.
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