According to the CEO of Sydney Airport, there could be more travel bubbles to Singapore, South Korea, and Japan as soon as the beginning of 2021.
Given Josh Frydenberg, the federal treasurer, gloomy forecast of the reopening of the international borders until late 2021, he believes with certainty that Australians will be able to take international flights as soon as the first half of 2022.
Speaking to the press at the AFR National Infrastructure Summit, Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said Australia could by early 2021 be ready to see regular travel to and from Singapore, South Korea, and Japan.
Culbert has nominated three nations as the next lot in New Zealand, which could see the requirement of compulsory quarantine for 14 days drop.
Culbert added that the countries in which Australia is confident to travellers in "reciprocal processes" are Singapore, South Korea, and Japan.
Sydney Airport Chairman said that a variety of reasons may have been used for the time limit, including the arrival of an effective vaccine, which we know would not occur until mid to late next year.
His comments come after Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Australia was in discussion with the three nations, and others in the South Pacific, on the return of international travel.
“There are countries that have performed well on the health front and Australia and those countries are one of a handful that has had the same level of success,” Scott Morrison told the press last Sunday. “But we have to go cautiously on this, very, very cautiously.
“COVID-19 hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s still there – it’s no less aggressive today than it was six months ago. We need to keep the habit of COVID-safe behaviors.”
It also comes with selected quarantine-free borders opening to New Zealanders from Australia on Friday 16 October last year.
Culbert told the press that the staff at Sydney Airport were excited to welcome the first plane passenger on Friday, with up to 200 expected arrivals.
“We haven’t welcomed international travellers to Sydney in months that haven’t had to come through customs and go straight on to buses to the hotel quarantine,” he said.
However, the limits of the Tasman link are reportedly recognised only one way by Culbert, and that the Kiwi passengers will have to quarantine in New Zealand once they return home.
He added that the air bridge was the first part of an international solution in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, a key 'conceptual test' for more destinations.
Meanwhile, Air New Zealand and Jetstar have used a new single-way travel bubble between New Zealand and New South Wales. Last Friday Air New Zealand flew first free quarantine, and after the restrictions started Jetstar flew first internationally.
- TAGS / KEYWORDS: