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DATE REVEALED: Major airline resumes flights to Australia

(Source: Getty)
(Source: Getty)

Air Canada has announced when flights to Canada will resume in a display of confidence about the easing of the international travel ban.

The airline has indicated it will resume Sydney-Vancouver flights from 17 December, according to media reports. Flights are already on sale.

The announcement follows in the footsteps of Qantas and Flight Centre as the airline and travel industry begins to show signs of confidence about the lifting of travel restrictions.

Qantas chief Alan Joyce has said he expects flights to Singapore, US and UK to resume from “mid-December”, while flights to Bali and Thailand will recommence from April next year. Flight Centre boss Graham Turner believes Australians will be able to travel to the UK from as early as November.

Before suspending flights to Australia due to the pandemic, Air Canada had non-stop flights to Vancouver from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

RICHMOND CANADA, Jan. 13, 2021 -- Air Canada aircrafts are seen on the runway of Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, Jan. 13, 2021. Air Canada announced on Wednesday that it is laying off about 1,700 employees due to official travel restrictions against the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Liang Sen/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Liang Sen via Getty Images)
Air Canada has hedged its bets that international travel will resume by mid-December. (Xinhua/Liang Sen via Getty Images)

As is becoming the norm for international travel, the Air Canada flights will only be available to double-jabbed passengers who have had “the Government of Canada-accepted vaccines”.

Luckily, these approved vaccines include the AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

"As travel restrictions ease across the globe, we are committed to rebuild our international network and continue as a global carrier connecting the world with Canada," said Vic Naughton, general manager of Australia and New Zealand at Air Canada.

"Our flights from Sydney to Vancouver conveniently connect to our flights across Canada and the US at our Vancouver hub."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that international travel will be available once 80 per cent of the population have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

A mobile phone with an Australian Covid-19 certificate on it next to an Australian passport on August 15, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. Potential travel in Australia may require the digital vaccine confirmation in the future.
Australia's COVID-19 certifiate. Travellers will have to be fully vaccinated to be allowed on international flights. (Source: Getty)

The Federal Government is currently working on establishing and rolling out international vaccine passports.

The digital border pass, called the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD), will share information like vaccine status to states and borders for contract tracing, and will be introduced within months.

Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan on Monday confirmed the new system would allow Aussies to upload their proof of vaccination via myGov to a QR code linked to their passport.

“Where you’re required to prove you’re vaccinated – when you’re travelling overseas to get entry into countries – that QR code will be able to demonstrate you are vaccinated,” Tehan told ABC Radio National.

Travellers will also have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travelling.

Air Canada’s Sydney-Vancouver flight route will start with four flights a week and depart Sydney on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

But the travel schedule will still be subject to COVID-19 outbreaks and government restrictions, the airline noted.

Air Canada has a partnership with Virgin, meaning Velocity Frequent Flyers can earn points and credits with Air Canada Flights.

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