“With Australia’s borders set to remain closed for some time, we have cancelled most international flights until late October,” a Qantas spokesperson said in a statement.
“We still have some flights scheduled across the Tasman in the coming months, with the expected travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.”
It comes after Australian Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham admitted international travel probably won’t resume until next year and encouraged Australians to holiday within the country.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the travel industry to a halt with the only chance of foreign travel now relying on bilateral agreements or a coronavirus vaccine.
Qantas itself is one of the major companies affected by the coronavirus fallout, and has been forced to stand down 20,000 workers.
Birmingham said it was unfortunate but borders had to remain closed to protect Australians from the coronavirus.
“Having international border restrictions in place has probably been the most important decision we took to keep Australia safe from COVID-19 and to avoid the scenes of mass graves we saw in New York or overflowing hospitals we saw in parts of Europe,” Birmingham told Today.
“And we are just going to have to continue to live with those international border restrictions because that is a key to keeping us safe as we look at new outbreaks occurring in Beijing, and other problem patches right around the world.”
But the airline has signalled more flights could resume if the situation changed.
“Should travel between Australia and other countries open up and demand returns, we can add more flights back into our schedule,” the Qantas statement read.
In the meantime, Qantas and subsidiary Jetstar will boost domestic flying over June and July as domestic travel restrictions begin to ease.
The additional services along the Melbourne-Sydney routes and to-and-from Canberra routes will help lift flights from 5 per cent of pre-coronavirus levels to 15 per cent of pre-coronavirus levels.