With Fortress Australia finally deciding to open up, Qantas has found itself to be in a hectic period. With the Australian government giving the green light to open up for Australia’s vaccinated citizens and residents, for now, various states are currently in the process of unwinding the stiff quarantine requirements that Australia has had for a long while. The first off the block was New South Wales, which has undone the quarantine requirements for vaccinated Australian citizens and PRs as of November 1, 2021.
Qantas launching flights between Sydney and Delhi
Qantas has accelerated launching its international network and will be launching many new flights in the coming days. Qantas made many announcements this morning, but one of the most significant ones from an Indian perspective is the launch of a new Sydney – Delhi non-stop flight, which is a route that has not been operated by Qantas in a decade.
This will be the first time Qantas has operated direct commercial flights from India to Australia since 2009. Over the past 12 months, the airline has operated more than 50 repatriation flights from India on behalf of the Australian Government to bring Australians home.
Qantas will launch flights between Sydney and Delhi from December 6, 2021, with three flights per week and move them up to daily flights by the end of the year. While Qantas is only launching these flights for about four months so far, till March 2022, it expects to continue these flights if there is sufficient demand.
The flights between Sydney and Delhi will be operated with a technical stop at Darwin, and the flights from Delhi to Sydney will be non-stop. An Airbus A330, with 28 lie-flat business class seats and 269 economy class seats, will operate this route. Here is a look at the A330 experience onboard Qantas flights.
Of course, many people are wondering why they are not getting the Boeing 787s of Qantas, but for a temporary route, a newer aircraft might not be the best idea for now. It might be possible that Qantas jumped in because Air India’s flight on this route is not operational for now. There is no roadmap of Singapore/Hong Kong opening up transit to India on an ongoing basis for people.
The flights will be operated as per the following schedule, every Monday, Thursday and Saturday:
- QF67 will take off from Sydney at 06:05 hours, arriving in Darwin at 09:05 hours, where after a 90-minute stopover, it will head to Delhi and arrive at 15:35 hours. (all times local).
- QF68 will take off from Delhi at 18:00 hours local time and arrive in Sydney non-stop at 11:45 hours the following morning.
From January 3, 2022, this route will go daily.
On this occasion, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said,
Given the strong ties between Australia and India, flights between Sydney and Delhi have been on our radar for some time, and we think there will be strong demand from family and friends wanting to reconnect once borders open
What is vital is that there are no air bubble agreements between India and Australia for now, which has been the only way that commercial flights are being offered, for now, so unless the embargo on commercial aviation is lifted on October 31, 2021, this might be a non-starter or will need that air bubble agreement.
Second, and very important piece of news is that Australia is only going quarantine free to their citizens and PRs and their immediate families and parents only, so this flight will only help them visit their family in India and head back. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said it’s possible that Australia would reopen to international visitors before the end of the year.
All passengers on Qantas and Jetstar international flights (aged 12 years and older) will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine (unless they have an exemption).
- As part of Federal Government requirements, customers on these flights will also be required to return a negative COVID test from an approved PCR testing site within 72 hours of departure.
- The NSW Government will advise on what additional testing requirements will be required on arrival shortly.
Qantas is launching a direct flight between Delhi and Sydney on December 6, 2021. The flight will operate three times a week initially and up to a daily flight in January 2022 until the end of the winter schedule. From there, Qantas will see if there is more demand and keep the flights going accordingly.
What do you make of this resumption of flights between India and Australia by Qantas?
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