Australia’s airports will soon be welcoming international tourists, with the Federal Government announcing that the country’s international border will reopen on 21 February 2021 to fully vaccinated passengers.
Australian Airports Association (AAA) Chief Executive, James Goodwin, said, “This is the exciting announcement the aviation sector has been waiting for.
“Airports will be critical to ensuring the logistics associated with resuming international travel will be successfully managed and look forward to working with the government agencies involved.
“International travel is only at 15 per cent of pre-COVID levels so this is a positive step to help the recovery of the aviation and tourism sectors.”
Mr Goodwin added that the return of international travellers will also be a much-needed boost for domestic routes.
“In pre-COVID times 30 per cent of domestic air travellers were international passengers,” Mr Goodwin said.
“International tourists don’t just visit one Australian city. They fly from state to state to see all of what our nation has to offer so it is vital all domestic borders reopen and stay open.”
The AAA has said that travellers are being reminded to do their homework before they fly, to ensure they have all the information they need before they get to the airport.
“Travel has changed since the pandemic hit two years ago with many people not flying for some time,” Mr Goodwin said.
“We encourage travellers to do their research to ensure a safe, enjoyable trip for all.”
Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) said it is ecstatic about the announcement that international borders will reopen to international travellers.
The Airport said that the announcement gives much-needed certainty to airports, airlines, tourism operators, and everyone involved in the international visitation industry, and for families and friends who have been apart throughout the pandemic, as they can now reunite.
The BAC said, after a challenging 24 months, it is more than ready to move forward with its partners to rebuild tourism across the state and reconnect Queensland to the world.
Melbourne Airport has also welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to allow fully vaccinated international tourists to travel to Australia.
Melbourne Airport’s Chief of Aviation, Lorie Argus, said the confirmation of a reopening date gives certainty to an industry that has suffered significant economic losses over the past two years.
“Like other businesses across the tourism and aviation sectors, we are celebrating the Federal Government’s announcement and can’t wait to warmly welcome international visitors once again,” Ms Argus said.
“Having a firm date to look forward to means that businesses can begin the process of preparing to welcome back international tourists.
“While we have continued to work with our airline partners throughout the pandemic to open new routes and welcome new airlines to Melbourne, this decision gives more confidence to airlines to restart routes and sell tickets to international tourists who have been eager to visit or revisit our wonderful country.
“There’s a lot of work to be done to recover from the pandemic and return to the strong, multi-billion-dollar industry we once were, but we are excited to continue to work with airlines and the industry to build back a resilient travel and tourism sector in Australia.”
Melbourne Airport had an average of 5,000 international passengers pass through its doors each day last week, which is around 15 per cent of the around 32,000 international passengers on an average day in February prior to the pandemic.