Qantas international flights with the first Singapore-bound route from Melbourne took off on November 22 for the first time in 20 months after the pandemic grounded international travel.
Now the airline has announced it will launch a brand-new international route from Melbourne to Delhi from December 22, 2021, connecting Victoria to the Indian capital on a Qantas-operated flight for the first time in the airline’s history.
The new Melbourne-Delhi flight will operate four times a week, year-round. Same day connections will also be available from Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra. Flights from Melbourne to Delhi will initially operate via Adelaide, while flights from Delhi to Melbourne will operate nonstop.
This follows the recent announcement of flights from Sydney to Delhi, which start next month. When this route went on sale, Qantas saw the fastest booking surge for flights leaving Australia since the airline announced its international restart plans in August.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “Victorians have done it tougher than most over the past two years and we think many will see the restart of Qantas international flights as another important step towards life getting back to normal.”
“We are starting to see more and more Victorians booking a much-deserved international getaway, and as borders open up to international visitors we’re expecting to see them visit Melbourne in large numbers, which will give local tourism and hospitality businesses a boost.
“The restart of our international flights is only possible because of the way Victorians and Australians more broadly have rolled up their sleeves to get the jab.
“While the past 20 months has undoubtedly been the most challenging in Qantas’ history, as we emerge from the crisis we are taking new opportunities to broaden our network in response to unprecedented pent-up travel demand. This is helping us bring more Qantas employees back to work,” Joyce added.
Qantas will also relaunch flights from Melbourne-London on November 27, 2021 and Melbourne-Los Angeles from December 19, 2021.
Qantas has rolled out a range of new initiatives including a customised digital travel guide designed to help passengers navigate travel requirements before they leave home.
The launch of international flights coincides with the opening of the Qantas First Lounge at Melbourne International Airport.
While normally reserved for Platinum Frequent Flyers, Qantas will extend an invitation to customers travelling in Business, Gold Frequent Flyers and Qantas Club members to visit the First Lounge until the neighboring Business Lounge reopens.
All passengers on Qantas international flights are required to be fully vaccinated, unless they are under 12 years old, are 12-17 year olds travelling to Australia with their family or guardian or have an exemption.
Initial international flights are limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and parents in line with Federal Government requirements. It’s expected this will be extended to other travelers in the coming months, a Qantas statement said.