25 November 2020
International arrival caps have been confirmed for international airlines flying into Australia through to the end of the year, with flight arrivals to Sydney allocated at 30−35 passengers per flight. Unfortunately, these caps will result in more than 10,000 Australians being stranded overseas come 31 December. While the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) 1 welcomes the increases to some arrival caps, we estimate that over 10,000 Australians who are currently on official airline waiting lists will not have an opportunity to return home, while airlines continue to fly into Australia with predominantly empty aircraft. These waiting lists represent only some of the Australians overseas seeking to return home, due to most international airlines halting ticket sales some months ago in an attempt to clear the existing backlog of ticket holders.
BARA firmly believes that the progressive re-opening of domestic borders presents an opportunity to bring home many more Australians overseas before the end of 2020 and into the early part of 2021. BARA understands that allocating this freed-up capacity to international flights could permit over 2,000 additional international arrivals each week, making a large difference to the Australians still overseas who currently do not have any prospects of returning home before the year’s end.
21 October 2020
The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) notes the number of Australians registered to return home has now increased to over 32,000 despite passengers arriving each day. International airlines were finally today allocated their per flight passenger caps to apply in just four days from now, and those caps cover only four weeks from 25 October. This delay has frustrated international airlines, and disrupted their ability to meet allocated cap numbers; it will also lead to fewer Australians being able to return home in the four weeks to 21 November. It has already led to yet more uncertainty and stress for Australians stranded overseas because international airlines cannot tell many of them when they will be able to travel home.
BARA understands that at present, each week some 1,600 people undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine when they enter New South Wales from Victoria. If, when the requirements on arrivals from Victoria are eased, this domestic quarantine capacity were allocated to international flights, it would make a big difference. Expanding the New Zealand Safe Travel Zone into all Australian states and territories and a regulatory framework that permits the commercial provision of quarantine services would also benefit Australians stranded overseas.
BARA is a member driven industry body that delivers value through setting the expectations and outcomes for Australia’s aviation infrastructure services.