The airline released a trading update, hours after the UK approved the usage of COVID-19 vaccine
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce fears international travel will be on hold until at least July next year despite the imminent roll-out of vaccines.
The flying kangaroo airline released a trading update on Thursday morning, hours after the UK announced it had approved usage of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from early next week.
Despite that, most countries are maintaining long quarantine periods which effectively preclude all but essential overseas travel.
International travel is likely to be at a virtual standstill until at least July next year and it will take years to fully recover, which means we’re carrying the overhead for billions of dollars worth of aircraft in the meantime, Mr Joyce said.
Mr Joyce said he expected the Australian government would require vaccination for anyone wishing to visit Australia, other than New Zealanders, if they wanted to avoid spending two weeks in quarantine.
We think a vaccine is going to be a requirement here. That means a vaccine is going to have to be available, he said.
Since March 20, Australians have been barred from leaving Australia for a holiday as non-citizens and non-residents were stopped from entering the country.
Australia is now being officially out of recession, with a 3.3 per cent growth during the September quarter, but Mr Joyce said more Covid-19 outbreaks could hamper the economic recovery.
It’s unclear what shape the domestic economy will be in next year, particularly once broader government support winds back, he said. Until a vaccine is rolled out, the risk of more outbreaks remains.
Despite the reopening of state borders, Mr Joyce said it was too early to be excited.
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