Qantas has pushed back its plans to restart international flights from the end of October to late-December, but is hopeful of capitalising on "pockets of tourism" through additional travel bubbles.
It comes after the Australian government revised its anticipated timeline for completion of the country’s vaccination roll-out to the end of the year, and its aim to "significantly" reopen its borders internationally to mid-2022.
Trans Tasman services will continue unaffected after Australia opened up a travel bubble with New Zealand last month.
"We remain optimistic additional bubbles will open once Australia’s vaccine rollout is complete to countries who, by then, are in a similar position, but it’s difficult to predict which ones at this stage," said the group.
"This planning assumption will allow the Qantas Group – and Australia – to be ready to take advantage of pockets of tourism and trade opportunity as they emerge in a post-Covid world. We will keep reviewing these plans as we move towards December and circumstances evolve."
Repatriation and freight services will continue, but the group’s focus will shift to resurgent demand for domestic travel to support its recovery.
Qantas had previously hoped to restart regular flights to "most" of its international destinations, including London, from 31 October, this already being four months later than its initial July 2021 aim.