Qantas has brought forward international ticket sales for destinations including the US and UK despite growing coronavirus rates overseas.
In October the airline giant’s chief executive Alan Joyce foreshadowed flights were unlikely to resume before the end of 2021, but as vaccines roll out overseas tickets have gone on sale for as early as July this year.
A company spokesperson told ABC the expectation was that international travel would begin to resume by June.
“As you can imagine, the restart of international flying will be subject to vaccine rollouts and borders reopening,” the spokesperson said.
The airline had earlier flagged a resumption of flights to Asia from March, but those plans have reportedly been pushed back to July, in line with UK and US flight plans.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said while ticket sales are a commercial decision for airlines, it’s for the government to decide when international travel resumes.
“International borders will be reopened when international arrivals do not pose a risk to Australians,” Mr McCormack said in a statement on Tuesday.
The government is working on travel arrangements between countries with low community infections, including New Zealand, he said.