Online searches for Qantas international flights have tripled in the last week as Australians start planning and preparing for the end of lockdowns and the hope that travel and reuniting with loved ones can happen at the end of the year.
The airline says that the surge in travel searches has come off the back of the Qantas Group’s announcement of plans and scheduled launch of international travel returning by December 18.
The Australian reported that the Qantas digital team found searches surged a massive 175 per cent with flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London the most popular.
Not surprisingly, Qantas international chief executive Andrew David said it was obvious Australians are itching to get back to travelling internationally.
“So many people have missed out on seeing loved ones who live overseas or taking a well-deserved break,” Mr David said, the Australian reported.
“While it’s up to the government to determine exactly how and when our international borders re-open, Australia is on track to meet the 80 per cent vaccination trigger by December, which means international travel is within reach.”
In another step towards the restart of travel, the federal government announced today that they will begin issuing COVID-19 vaccine passports from next month.
The first international immunisation certificates are set to be rolled out in October with the federal government also working with other countries to determine which vaccines will be recognised.
Aside from the now ceased trans-Tasman bubble, Australia’s international border has remained closed for leisure travel since March 20, 2020.
As if we needed reminding.
It was only a few weeks ago that Qantas launched their highly emotive ‘Let’s fly away’ video which was both a vaccine push and a reminder that travelling again is not that far away.
Speaking at the Trans-Tasman Business Circle’s ‘Let’s get on with the jab’ series yesterday, Qantas boss Alan Joyce said the company had an “obligation” to get the nation talking about getting vaccinated.
“As the national carrier, I think we have an obligation to try and lead the national dialogue (about vaccination),” he said.
“(So) we came out with this great, amazing, emotive ad to try and get people to see some positive reasons to get vaccinated, the trip to see the loved ones overseas, the holiday with the kids overseas.
“We got an amazing reaction to it and I think the emotional reaction to it shows that people do want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, they want to have hope, they want to see a way through this.”
At the time, Qantas also launched a mega reward campaign for vaccinated Australians to recognise their role in helping the country get out of lockdown with ten prizes up for grabs including a year’s worth of flights, accommodation and fuel.
There’s also a reward via the Qantas App with everyone participating receiving one of three options: 1000 Qantas Points, 15 status credits or a $20 flight discount for Qantas or Jetstar.
More than 300,000 people have since uploaded their vaccination certificates.
However, the Qantas boss has admitted that the goal of reopening to domestic flights could be jeopardised by some states keeping borders closed.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk have both said they may keep the borders closed if case numbers are high, regardless of vaccination rates.
“We might get into a situation where from Sydney you can visit your relatives in London, maybe Dublin, but you can’t visit your relatives in Perth or maybe Cairns and that would be sad if we got to that,” Mr Joyce said.
“Hopefully we’ll get everybody to keep with the National Cabinet plan which will mean everybody can get together at Christmas, domestically and internationally,” he said.
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