Can Australians really expect to travel overseas by Christmas?
Can Australians get overseas by Christmas? The bold plan to have the entire nation’s population vaccinated by 80 per cent isn’t the only roadblock keeping Australians grounded
- Major Australian airline Qantas is hopeful some international flights before Christmas
- Fate lies on National Cabinet’s target of 80 per cent of the Australia’s population vaccinated by the end of the year
- Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has flagged quarantine requirements as one of the biggest unknowns for the aviation sector
Home for Christmas?
At the beginning of the pandemic last year, the hope was borders to open by Christmas 2020. Although optimistic, this reality is now likely one year on.
Despite the harsh lockdowns across the country to contain the delta outbreak of covid-19, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said Australia’s rapid vaccination rollout would make international holiday travel possible again for the first time in almost two years.
In a media conference, Joyce said he understands the delta variant is difficult to manage but the first step is vaccinating airline crew and the entire Australian population, in line with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s national strategy.
2,000 Qantas frontline staff including cabin crew, pilots and airport workers will have until November 15 to get jabbed, while the 20,0000 remaining workers have until March 31 next year.
“It’s obviously up to government exactly how and when our international borders re-open, but with Australia on track to meet the 80 per cent trigger agreed by National Cabinet by the end of the year, we need to plan ahead for what is a complex restart process,” Mr Joyce said.
Joyce said international travel may seem a long way off, but the airline will remain optimistic despite the ongoing change of circumstances.
What could stop this?
The writing is on ‘Phase C’ of the federal government’s path to pandemic normality.
Joyce flagged that one of the biggest unknowns hangs around quarantine requirements, that vary from state to state in Australia for domestic travel at the moment.
In a media conference, Joyce mentioned the possibility of home isolation as a viable option once international travel off the ground.
Australians have been banned from travelling overseas for a holiday since March 2020, when the pandemic began.
Joyce said there is good dialogue between Qantas and the federal government, and ongoing discussions will continue.
Qantas is assuming that current domestic border closures will remain in place until early December, and there is no decision yet if domestic passengers must be vaccinated like international passengers.
“It would be shame to visit relatives in London before relatives in Perth”Joyce said
Where can I travel?
Joyce says Qantas is hopeful travel demand will spike once borders reopen, and has put forward a plan to layout initial routes.
Qantas said the initial routes being planned for high vaccination destinations include Singapore, the United States, Japan, United Kingdom and Canada.
The airline expects the New Zealand travel bubble will resume in some form by mid-December.
Passengers can expect a restart on flights to Hong Kong in February and the rest of the Qantas and Jetstar international network from April next year.
Flights to low vaccination cities like in Asia and South Africa with high Covid-19 case numbers would not restart until at least April 2022 as well.
Those destinations include Bali, Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City and Johannesburg.
Qantas has plans to bring back five of its A380 Airbus super jumbos earlier than expected, in 2022
However the hope from Qantas is market recovery by 2024.
When will airfares begin to fall?
As the global aviation market rebounds, airlines are changing their service offerings
Over 46 million workers in the global aviation sector lost their jobs as global aviation came to a grinding halt at the onset of the pandemic.
However, Geoffrey Thomas from AirlineRatings.com said passengers have returned to airport terminals and boarded flights in droves.
“When travelled returned, many of us wondered what sort of low airfares will we have to be charged to entice people back onto airplanes.”
In February 2023, total traffic (measured in revenue passenger kilometres) rose 55.5 per cent when compared to February 2022.
Globally, traffic is at 84.9 per cent of February 2019 levels.
“It was a stampede, the likes of which we have never seen before,” Mr Thomas said.
The worst of inflation could be behind us
The unprecedented nature of the pandemic continue to shape international fiscal policy
As reserve banks and federal reserves continue to battle the impacts of Covid-19, inflation has become a dominate issue.
In some parts of the world, rising household costs have slowed consumer spending by more than expected.
It means the end of aggressive rate hikes could come to an end in a matter of months.
In Australia, recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed inflation has passed its peak and is beginning to moderate.
The numbers show annual inflation peaked in December 2022 but will still remain higher for longer than anticipated.
Matt Grudnoff is a Senior Economist at The Australia Institute, who said these are uncharted waters.
“I don’t think they should be fully blamed.
“The pandemic was an entirely different kind of recession, one that we have never seen before.
“The world went into recession because the world shut down for very good health reasons.
“But the economy rebounded extremely quickly, simply because there was no underlying problem with the economy,” he said.
“I think there is a great risk”: will AI steal our jobs?
Artificial Intelligence has become an increasingly powerful and pervasive force in our modern world.
Artificial intelligence is not a new concept. However, the growing advancements have the potential to revolutionise industries, improve efficiency, and enhance the quality of life.
Along with its promising advancements, artificial intelligence also brings certain risks and challenges that must be acknowledged and addressed.
It has become the focus of lawmakers, who are working towards greater regulation of the sector.
U.S. and European Union officials recently met in Sweden to weigh up the benefits and challenges of artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies.
“The AI process is creeping up on us,” said Dr Keith Suter, who is a global futurist.
“You’ve got competition between companies.”
It’s almost like some of us can see this raft that’s heading towards the rapids and a disappearance towards the waterfall, and we’re giving a warning but it’s not being heeded because everybody’s in this race to get down to the river,” Dr Suter said.
Everything you need to know about music NFTs
AI creates a song imitating Drake and The Weeknd
Who is running for the 2024 GOP Presidential nomination?
Crypto.com accidentally transfers $10.5m to woman instead of $100
What is happening between SHIB and Vitalik? | TICKER VIEWS
Russia has cancelled itself. But the world should beware of poking the Russian bear￼
Insight1 week ago
Girls powering STEM
Insight7 days ago
The impacts of bad money mindsets
Originals1 week ago
From Zero to Hero: Behind the scenes at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix
Insight1 week ago
How food can be linked to diabetes diagnosis
World2 days ago
Ukraine prepares for a summer of violence
Business1 week ago
Debt limit dispute: will America default?
World1 week ago
Is the West suffering from Ukraine fatigue?
Insight1 week ago
How insurance brokers have a happy-knack of doing better in uncertain times