Every week we’re going to check in with Travel Josh Engstrom, Travel Expert from Liberty Travel to get an update on flights between the United States and Australia. This is the update for the week of the 1st of July, 2020.

Information is changing regularly so be sure to check back each week for updates.

Please note that all flights coming into Australia, have reciprocal flights leaving, so while the schedules will be different of course if you see an airline coming in – they will also be leaving to go back to point of origin.

As many countries enter phase one and two of lifting lockdowns and re-opening borders, it’s sometimes tough to work out whether you can fly into or transit different countries. Let me give you a great trusted link to get any info on entering countries:

https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document-news/1580226297.htm

This is IATA – the world body for all things air travel – a trusted source and they are updating regularly.

Australia’s Hotel Quarantine

As you, no doubt have seen in the news, QLD has started to charge anyone entering the state from overseas for their own hotel quarantine, formerly the state paid. I expect the other states to follow suit – which could add significant added expenses to your trip home. Please keep up to date by looking at the individual GOV sites for your state. Let me know if you need help with this.

Victoria’s Border

We have also seen in the last few days that Victoria is turning away international arrivals and diverting them to other cities.

If this affects you and you need assistance, please be sure to reach out to me.

Europe’s Borders Opening*

Rather than look at this as certain countries “banned” I’d like to just see this as Europe opens for residents of 14 countries. Those countries include Australia and New Zealand.

You can find more in the official announcement here, and it is due to be updated with more information in the coming days and weeks:

For countries where travel restrictions continue to apply, the following categories of people should be exempted from the restrictions:

  • EU citizens and their family members;
  • long-term EU residents and their family members; and
  • travellers with an essential function or need, as listed in the Recommendation.

If you do not fall in these categories and you reside in the U.S. (i.e. if you say “I live in the U.S.” or “I have been living in the U.S.”), you will not be permitted entry. If you would like clarification, please reach out to me on my details below.

Each country in the EU will handle it in their own way, however this is the general advice given.

Airlines that have changed flights or plans

Qantas (QF)

Qantas (QF) were expected to start their LAX-SYD route in August, this has now been cancelled, checking their schedule, I can’t see any flights until at least November – this is a very sad departure, with new updates to come as they are released.

Qantas have updated their refund policy – so that it is easier to understand and hopefully easier for those whose flights were cancelled to get a refund.

Qantas (and Virgin Australia) this week, as expected, suspended all remaining international flights that were in operation in cooperation with the Australian Government (https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/qantas-and-virgin-australia-suspend-remaining-international-flights-20200608-p550jl.html):

Qantas and Virgin Australia have re-grounded their remaining international passenger operations after government funding for the handful of overseas routes they were flying came to an end.

Virgin Australia (VA)

Now that it looks clearer that this airline will remain in the longer term, a media release from the two new stakeholders state that Virgin Australia will honor the more the $100 million worth of tickets canceled due to COVID and the company going into bankruptcy, this is great news for Aussies in the US who had their original VA flights canceled. Unsure whether they will be able to get refunds still, but at least when they do start flying again, you will be able to use your existing credit.

Delta (DL)

DELTA Air Lines will resume its Australian operations next month, with the carrier confirming three weekly SYD-LAX flights restarting effective from 01 July (WED/FRI/SUN) They are flying connecting flights from NYC, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

The addition is part of a staged global resumption of operations adding 1,000 flights system-wide subject to demand and evolving COVID-19 restrictions. Pricing is good, and looks like there’s plenty of availability – please reach out to me if you’ve flown them in the last week and what your feedback is on their service!

Emirates (EK), Etihad (EY) and Qatar (QR)

Have some great news for Emirates here, with NYC starting their resumption to Dubai on the 15th June! Great result here, giving NYC another option to get home. With Emirates you can now fly direct into MEL/PER/SYD/BNE via Dubai, great result here!!!

NYC – BNE – Thursdays only

NYC – PER – Wednesday’s only; DXB – MEL – Tuesday’s, Thursday’s & Friday’s; DXB – SYD – Monday’s, Wednesday’s & Saturday’s

ETIHAD – daily connections from NYC – SYD

QATAR –  NYC – BNE – MON/WED/FRI; NYC – PER TUE/THU/SAT/SUN

Airlines and flights that have stayed the same

United (UA)

Still, the most reliable route to Australia for New York-based expats – Still only from SFO – SYD

Daily service from San Francisco to Sydney through June/July – still have not had any problems with these flights. Unfortunately, it looks like due to domestic travel issues, some days (not all) the flights no longer connect – meaning an overnight in SFO would be required.

Air New Zealand (NZ)

Still operating services from NYC – SYD/MEL/BNE (via AKL) 2-3 times weekly

Singapore Airlines (SQ)

Changi Airport is going to open its airport soon to non-Singapore Nationals, this could also be a great option moving forward for non-Sydney residents who don’t want to do the Sydney quarantine Flights start from 17th July (i.e. MEL/ADL/PER/BNE/DRW/CNS residents) again

International re-openings

Mexico

Quintana Roo – June 8, 2020

Caribbean

Antigua/Barbuda – June 1, 2020
Aruba – July 10, 2020
Barbados – July 1, 2020
Bahamas – July 1, 2020
Bermuda – 14-day quarantine – No official re-open border date
Bonaire – June 15, 2020
Cayman Islands – September 1, 2020
Curacao – Until further notice
Dominican Republic – July 5, 2020
Grenada – June 30, 2020
Jamaica – June 15, 2020
Puerto Rico – 14-day quarantine
St. Barthélemy – June 22, 2020
St. Lucia – June 4, 2020
Turks and Caicos – July 22, 2020
USVI – June 1, 2020

Central America

Costa Rica – July 1, 2020
Belize – July 1, 2020

Questions & Bookings

Do you have questions? Do you need travel advice? Contact Josh by his email, engstromj@libertytravel.com

Josh Engstrom Liberty Travel