The first international flight landed in Melbourne, after a 5-month break
On December 7, 2020, the first international flight landed at Melbourne Airport. after a 5 month break.
SriLankan Airlines flight UL604 took off from Colombo, Sri Lanka at 16:45 and landed in Melbourne, Australia at 07:48 + 1. The passengers, who traveled from Sri Lanka, were isolated for 14 days in hotel rooms without being able to leave.
However, some travelers returning from less affected countries may be isolated at home. A similar system is used in Sydney.
In June 2020, Melbourne Airport (MEL) stopped accepting international flights due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which started at two hotels where passengers were quarantined. The outbreak was blamed on authorities who do not comply with safety protocols.
By resuming flights, authorities should ease constraints on Australians returning home from abroad, especially at Christmas time. Melbourne expects to register an initial 160 passengers a day or 1.120 a week.
Relaxation of travel restrictions and the reopening of Australia's internal borders have boosted flights operated by airlines such as Qantas and Virgin Australia.
On December 3, 2020, Qantas estimated that aircraft occupancy on domestic flights will reach the 68% threshold in December 2020. In previous months, the load rate was about 40%. The Australian airline has announced the addition of several flights between Sydney and Perth.
Currently, a travel ban, administered by the Department of Home Affairs, prevents Australians from going abroad. International flights from Australia are expected to resume only in the summer of 2021.