Alan Joyce has taken a subtle dig at Western Australia while delivering a huge announcement about international travel.
The Qantas boss appeared at Sydney Airport on Friday morning, alongside the Prime Minister and NSW Premier, to outline when the nation’s largest air carrier would return to the skies internationally.
“The most important part of the announcement we are making today is the implications this has for our people,” Mr Joyce told reporters on Friday.
“We believe that the domestic borders will be opened up.
“We see we have got the announcements (coming) for Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania … and that gives us confidence to get to 100 per cent of pre-Covid levels domestically in January and up to 120 per cent of pre-Covid levels by April.”
Mr Joyce left Western Australia off the list.
Camera IconQantas chief executive Alan Joyce announced the airline’s international plan. NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp Australia
WA Premier Mark McGowan has been criticised by other state leaders for his tough border stance that includes listing NSW as an “extreme risk” location, meaning people can’t enter the state for compassionate reasons even if they quarantine for two weeks.
He also threatened not to open the border until the new year as WA’s vaccination rate lagged behind the rest of the state.
Mr Joyce also revealed Qantas flights would be brought forward, with routes between Sydney and international destinations like Singapore and Johannesburg to resume months earlier than planned.
This would mean thousands of employees who had been stood down could return to work in December.
Mr Joyce said the airline was preparing to exit the “darkest period” in its 100-year history.
“This is the best news we’ve had in almost two years and it will make a massive difference to thousands of our people who finally get to fly again,” he said.
Flights from Sydney to London have already been pencilled in from November 1 when borders open to NSW, while several others routes have now been added to the list.
Camera IconInternational flights will resume earlier than planned. NCA NewsWire Christian Gilles Credit: News Corp Australia
They include return travel to Delhi, Singapore, Fiji, Johannesburg, Bangkok and Phuket.
The Sydney to Fiji route will return on December 7 and people will be able to travel to Johannesburg in early January.
Flights to the Indian capital, Delhi, will also resume in December for the first time in a year.
Travel between Sydney and Melbourne will also be given a boost during the festive period to ensure people can be reunited with their families.
But those wanting to travel internationally must be fully vaccinated and return a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure.
All international flights will run out of Sydney Airport.Internet Explorer Channel Network