Did you hear that Australia is closed? Arrivals at the major airports are capped, with Sydney accepting a maximum of 350 passengers per day, Perth 525 per week, Brisbane and Adelaide 500 per week, and zero in Melbourne as they are in lockdown. Airlines have had to stop selling flights to Australia.
Carriers are even being told how many people they can bring in, with some flights limited to just 30 passengers. Obviously, Australian citizens are stranded abroad because of this. On the flip side, the Government does not permit people to leave Australia without permission, which must be applied for. You’d be forgiven for thinking Australia had turned into an authoritarian regime.
Qatar Stops Selling Flights To Australia
Back in February, I booked flights to Australia for November to see my family and in May, I changed the flights thanks to the generous Qatar Airways change policy. In the months since, circumstances changed and I had to move the dates to the end of the year.
When I rang them, there were no flights available to Sydney on Qatar Airways. Instead, I could route via Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific, which would have been fine, but there were no business class seats available. I let the agent know I’d like to stay with a oneworld airline if possible and he agreed to check.
That meant the Thai Airways option via Bangkok was out. After some time on hold, the very helpful agent came back with a solution. In the end, I am routing via Auckland and on to Sydney with LATAM.
I have flown via Auckland before with Qatar Airways, so it is no problem. Even so, I know there is a Sydney flight operating, yet I can’t be booked onto it and so it makes for a more circuitous route for me.
At present, the arrivals cap into Australia is supposed to be reviewed at the end of October. Recent news reports suggest the Government is under pressure to lift the caps earlier and there are articles saying hotels want the business increased stays will provide, plus others about all the stranded people who wish to get home.
With various airlines no longer selling flights to Australia, this will place added pressure on the Government to do something about this. It is a terrible thing when citizens can’t get back to their own country, due to rules imposed by that country. Isn’t citizenship supposed to give you certain rights? It’s a disgusting set of circumstances all round.
While I understand the country is trying to keep pandemic deaths down, the measures are far too restrictive. Australians know they live in a nanny state, watching their every move, but I believe things have gone too far. For now though, I’ll watch and wait and see what the next move is.
What do you think about airlines no longer selling flights to Australia? Has the arrivals cap or departure restrictions impacted you? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Mulag via Wikimedia Commons.