Qantas has axed the majority of its international flight schedule until late-October following comments made by Australia’s tourism minister.
Speaking at the National Press Club on Wednesday (17 June), Simon Birmingham said Australia’s borders would likely remain closed for some time to guard against new coronavirus infections.
Birmingham added he felt the resumption of both inbound and outbound tourism "remained quite some distance off", and encouraged Australians to holiday at home.
Australia has recorded 7,370 coronavirus cases to date, resulting in 102 deaths. The country shut its borders in March during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement issued to the BBC, Qantas said: “With Australia’s borders set to remain closed for some time, we have cancelled most international flights until late October.
"We still have some flights scheduled across the Tasman [Sea] in the coming months, with the expected travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand."
Qantas and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar announced plans earlier this month to increase domestic and regional flight operations, initially from 5% of pre-coronavirus levels to 15% by the end of June.
The group could yet restore up to 40% of its pre-Covid domestic flight capacity by the end of July.