Qantas has announced that it will be commencing repatriation flights to Melbourne from London and Los Angeles.
The flights, due to commence on the 13th May, are expected to open up a lucrative pet travel in the current global climate.
Melbourne is home to the only animal reception centre, required due to animal quarantine requirements. With these flights expats that have returned to Australia following the Covid-19 outbreak are expected to be able to bring the pets to Australia.
Prior to this the only flights from Los Angeles to Australia arrived in Brisbane, operated by Virgin Australia and Qantas.
At the start of April a number of air routes were subsidised by the Australian government to enable repatriation of citizens. Qantas and Virgin Australia operated flights between Australia and London, Los Angeles, Auckland, and Hong Kong for a four week period.
The Australian government has also announced a scheme to underwrite cargo routes currently cut off due to the outbreak. The International Freight Assistance Mechanism is to provide $110m ASD to airlines to enable them to operate essential services.
Initially these flights will serve key markets in Asia and it is unknown if this will be expanded to cover longer-range fights.
Nick Ashwell-Rice has worked in aviation and defence journalism since 2014 whilst also maintaining a career outside of the industry. He has been Editor-in-Chief at Talking Aero since its inception