The Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN) share price finished Wednesday’s trading session flat after spending the morning in the red. The late afternoon gains came as several media outlets reported the airline operator is set to resume international flights.
At the closing bell, Qantas shares ended the day unchanged at $5.43 apiece.
Qantas prepares for take-off
Investors appear buoyant on the quick recovery of the travel market, sending Qantas shares higher today.
The company is relaunching its first commercial international flights in mid-December to several popular destinations from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
On December 18, services to London, Los Angeles, Singapore, Vancouver will operate pending border openings.
In the following days, more scheduled flights will follow to Tokyo, Hawaii and Fiji. Furthermore, New Zealand routes are expected to restart before Christmas.
It is a massive positive sign for Qantas should the Australian federal government give the green light.
Previously, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce advised that only fully vaccinated passengers will be allowed to take off on the flying kangaroo. However, evidence of a negative PCR COVID-19 test may also be required for some destinations within 72 hours of boarding.
The international travel plan is based on the Australian population reaching an 80% vaccination target. On current projections, the population is estimated to hit this level by 15 November.
In the past week alone, almost 1 million Australians received the COVID-19 jab, reflecting a strong up-take.
While this is great news for Qantas, there still remain questions regarding hotel quarantine for passengers coming to and from Australia. The company noted that customers would be more accepting of home quarantine when flying as opposed to the expensive hotel option.
Qantas share price snapshot
Over the past 12 months, Qantas shares have travelled almost 40% higher with year-to-date up around 12%. However, this could significantly change in the coming weeks should Australia’s travel sector reopen.
Qantas commands a market capitalisation of roughly $10.2 billion with more than 1.8 billion shares on its registry.