Whether it’s that family reunion in London or that long-awaited weekender to Singapore, we’re slowly inching towards international travel with Qantas. The Red Roo’s previous attempts at relaunching overseas flights have been a non-starter, but we’re hopeful that third time’s the charm!
UPDATE 28 September 2021: In addition to the overseas destinations previously mentioned, Qantas is also now accepting bookings for flights from Sydney to a wide swathe of cities from late March 2022. This includes Johannesburg, Bali, Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila. Melbourne also enjoys a flight to balmy Bali. Further details are below.
Qantas is banking on Australia reaching a national COVID-19 vaccination rate of 80% by the end of 2021, which should pave the way for the National Cabinet to loosen Australia’s borders under ‘Stage 3’ plans.
To help speed up the efforts, Qantas is rewarding frequent flyers who receive both jabs. And the carrier has also released a touching new video, set to the dulcet tones of… Tones and I:
“I had a dream that someday
I would just fly, fly away”
So is this a flight of fancy or good forward planning by Qantas? Either way, the carrier is now taking bookings for selected international routes in 2022.
Where will Qantas fly to internationally?
The airline’s schedule now shows the majority of new international flights starting from Monday 20 December 2021. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A330s will make up the bulk of the international fleet. New flights to Bali, Jakarta, Bangkok, Manila and Johannesburg have also been added.
Qantas new international flights from Sydney
|Route (to/from Sydney)||Start||Frequency||Aircraft|
|Singapore and London||20 Dec 21||Daily||Boeing 787|
|Singapore||20 Dec 21||Daily||Airbus A330|
|Hong Kong||14 Feb 22||4x weekly||Airbus A330|
|Tokyo (Haneda)||20 Dec 21||4x weekly||Airbus A330|
|Los Angeles||20 Dec 21||Daily||Boeing 787|
|Honolulu||20 Dec 21||4x weekly||Airbus A330|
|San Francisco||16 Feb 22||3x weekly||Boeing 787|
|Dallas Fort Worth||14 Feb 22||5x weekly||Boeing 787|
|Vancouver||20 Dec 21||3x weekly||Boeing 787|
|Nadi||21 Dec 21||4x weekly||Boeing 737|
|Denpasar (Bali)||27 Mar 22||Daily||Boeing 737|
|Jakarta||27 Mar 22||6x weekly||Airbus A330|
|Bangkok||27 Mar 22||Daily||Airbus A330|
|Manila||27 Mar 22||Daily||Airbus A330|
|Johannesburg||27 Mar 22||Daily||Boeing 787|
Sydney remains Qantas’ favourite international port with 15 routes kicking off from late 2021 to early 2022. Most of the longer journeys will be hosted by the sleek Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Qantas new international flights from Melbourne
|Route (to/from Melbourne)||Start||Frequency||Aircraft|
|Singapore||20 Dec 21||4x weekly||Airbus A330|
|Hong Kong||15 Feb 22||3x weekly||Airbus A330|
|Tokyo Haneda||15 Feb 22||3x weekly||Airbus A330|
|Los Angeles||20 Dec 21||4x weekly||Boeing 787|
|Denpasar (Bali)||28 Mar 22||Daily||Boeing 737|
From Melbourne, you could visit Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo or Los Angeles by early 2022. Only the long LA flight will be on the newer Boeing 787s, though.
Qantas new international flights from Brisbane
|Route (to/from Brisbane)||Start||Frequency||Aircraft|
|Singapore||22 Dec 21||3x weekly||Airbus A330|
|Nouméa||8 Jan 22||1x weekly||Boeing 737|
|Los Angeles||22 Dec 21||3x weekly||Airbus A330|
|San Francisco||14 Feb 22||3x weekly||Airbus A330|
As we previously reported, Qantas will be extending the range on 2 Airbus A330s, so those jets can tackle the longer trans-Pacific missions to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Qantas new international flights from Perth
|Route (to/from Perth)||Start||Frequency||Aircraft|
|Singapore||14 Feb 22||Daily||Airbus A330|
|London||TBA until Apr 2022||Daily||Boeing 787|
Qantas will bypass Perth for its flagship London flights, for now. Instead, the Red Roo will consider transiting via Darwin or Singapore, instead. A decision is due within 2 weeks and this temporary re-routing would last until at least April 2022.
Perth-Singapore also returns to the map with daily Airbus A330s in February 2022. These flights will continue to be flown out of Qantas’ dedicated international wing of T3/T4.
Should I book these Qantas international flights?
We’ll be blunt – there is still a risk at this stage when booking any international travel using cash. Should you purchase a refundable fare or Qantas cancels or changes your flight, you are up for a lengthy wait for a refund. And if you want to change your travel plans on a non-refundable ticket, your only option is to receive a Credit Voucher, or fork out cancellation fees for a refund.
However, we also understand many of you (and us too!) are yearning to travel. It would be easier to book your flights now, rather than leave it and then face a rush of bookings if borders are eventually relaxed.
Use your Qantas Points for a flexible ticket
On this note, we still strongly recommend you book Qantas reward seats using Qantas Points. Qantas Classic Flight Rewards are fully flexible, with the change and cancellation fees currently waived. You can get a full refund before the flight for any reason, COVID-related or not.
Yes, we know the points needed can be relatively high. Carrier charges and taxes will sting your wallet as well. But this is your best option if you have plenty of points, and want the security of a full refund being available.
Be sure that you’re actually booking a ‘Classic Reward’ (see the screenshot below). If you’re buying a ‘Points + Pay’ ticket, that’s actually just a cash ticket offset by points. It has far more restrictive fare rules.
Book with cash to ‘Fly Flexible’, but with no refunds
If you do go ahead to book with cash, you will be covered by Qantas’ ‘Fly Flexible’ policy. This applies for bookings made by 28 February 2022, for travel through to 31 December 2022.
Can’t make the flight? Under the current policy, you can make unlimited date changes, or put the flight into credit. However, refunds are not part of the deal, unless Qantas cancels the flight or you buy a fully-flexible ticket.
Finally, before you hit ‘book’, do consider that even if the 14-day hotel quarantine requirement is lifted, you might still need to do a period of home-quarantine upon return. It all depends on whether further quarantine-free ‘bubbles’ will be made or not.