In the week after Australia announced that it will reopen its borders to vaccinated travelers later this month, Qantas Airways Ltd has witnessed a large increase in international ticket searches and reservations, a top executive said on Wednesday.
Following Monday’s news that borders will reopen on February 21, Andrew David, the airline’s CEO for domestic and international operations, said that reservations for flights into Australia had more than quadrupled on the first day.
“We’ve noticed a jump in bookings from the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as from South Africa, India, and Canada, with the months of March, April, and May being the most popular travel months,” David said in a statement.
During the epidemic, Australia has kept its borders almost completely closed for over two years. According to Tourism Research Australia, international travel expenditure decreased from $31.93 billion in the 2018/19 financial year to $0.93 billion in the 2020/21 fiscal year.
China and New Zealand, which were Australia’s most important incoming markets in 2019 before the epidemic, have virtually been closed off since travelers must undergo prolonged quarantine while returning home from their travels in China and New Zealand.
The United States and the United Kingdom, which rank third and fourth in terms of incoming tourism in 2019, respectively, do not need any special treatment for returning tourists.
A number of foreign routes, including Sydney-Dallas, Brisbane-Singapore, Sydney-Manila, and Brisbane-Los Angeles, will be re-opened by Qantas in the coming weeks, the airline said.