Foreign airlines won’t be able to ramp up operations to meet the mass reopening of international travel into Sydney when 80% vaccination is reached because they will need several months to recall laid-off staff and retrieve planes that have been parked in deserts.
Barry Abrams, the executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia, told Guardian Australia that airlines continued to be left in the dark about what the new rules and passenger limits would be, leaving them stuck “in a holding pattern”, unable to commence planning for resuming routes.
Passenger allowances are a key factor for airlines in determining the financial viability of their routes, and Abrams warned that carriers that had not flown to the country in more than a year had not yet begun allocating aircraft or staff to Australian routes, nor had they begun renegotiating contracts with ground handling crews and local supply businesses.
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