On Friday, Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd disclosed, it will reactivate plans to order airplanes that are capable of commercial flights between Sydney and London, when it regains financial strength.
“I think the business case for doing it is very strong,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce during a tourism industry webcast.
“The aircraft are not going anywhere,” added Joyce. “When we are comfortable in doing it and have the financial strength to do it, we will be doing it.”
Before the onset of the coronavirus, Qantas had planned to order up to 12 Airbus SE A350-1000 planes which can fly the Sydney-London and Sydney-New York routes, by 2023.
Since then the airline has grounded 220 planes and halted all international flights with the exception of government repatriation charters and cargo flights.
On Thursday, Qantas had said, it would triple domestic capacity to 15% of normal levels by the end of this month, and potentially bump it up by 40% in July if state border restrictions are eased.
Regarding its international travel outlook, Joyce said it would depend on countries’ getting COVID-19 under control or a vaccine being developed.
Australia has barred its citizens from almost all outbound travel.
Joyce went on to add, there could potentially be a boost in demand for holidays in domestic destinations like Cairns and Broome; Qantas will offer low fares and further stimulate that demand and to reduce its $27.76 (A$40 million) monthly cash burn due to planes sitting on the ground.
($1 = 1.4407 Australian dollars)