Your 30th birthday. Baldness. An Instagram food porn addiction. There are a lot of things we feel coming but don’t want to admit to. Qantas’ latest announcement may pierce the denial many Australians are feeling about travel in the same way.
In two speeches this morning, Qantas’ CEO Alan Joyce and Chairman Richard Goyder gave Australians a harsh dose of reality.
There’s probably not going to be flights to the UK or US from Australia until at least the end of 2021.
This marks a five month push back from Qantas’ previous prediction of mid-2021.
Mr. Joyce said, “For some of our big destination[s] like the United States and the UK, it’s going to need a vaccine given the high prevalence of the virus in both of those locations,” news.com.au reports.
“We are getting more and more confident about the opportunities and the potential for a vaccine in helping getting those operations up by potentially by the end of 2021.”
There is more hope on the pacific front, with Mr. Goyder saying Qantas is looking at new markets that might open up as a result of pacific travel bubbles – including places that weren’t part of Qantas’ pre-COVID network.
“By early next year, we may find that Korea, Taiwan and various islands in the Pacific are top Qantas destinations while we wait for our core international markets like the US and UK to re-open.”
“We’re already doing this domestically – adding new destinations that suddenly make sense – and it’s the kind of flexibility we need to make the most of any cash positive opportunities in the year ahead.”
Mr. Joyce added, “With most international travel off-limits for a while, we’re expecting to see a boom in domestic tourism once more borders open up.”
“And when international travel does eventually return, our market share is expected to grow too, as overseas carriers take a conservative approach to capacity and focus on opportunities closer to their own home markets.”
Both speakers highlighted the importance of Australia opening its domestic borders as soon as it is safe to do so, with Mr. Goyder questioning the slovenliness with which we are re-opening domestic borders.
“[Staying closed] doesn’t seem to be based on the actual health risk. And that seems to ignore the broader economic and social risk involved with staying shut – especially as Federal income support winds down.”
“By contrast, the lifting of some restrictions with New Zealand is very encouraging. So, too, is the potential for travel bubbles with parts of Asia.”