British Airways (BA) will be reinstating its London-to-Sydney flights today.
BA suspended its London-to-Sydney route in April 2020 after Australia banned international travelers from entering the country due to the pandemic. The resumption of this flight route comes after Australia opened its borders on February 21 to vaccinated international travelers only.
Since the start of the pandemic, Australia’s tourism sector lost approximately $72 billion in revenue. Approximately 17% of that $72 billion was from suspended UK tourist travel to Australia, with 700,000 tourists from the UK having traveled to Australia in 2018-2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK ranked 4th place for tourist travel to Australia.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced this month that an additional $60 million would be allocated to the regional governments of Australia’s hardest-hit areas to re-attract tourism.
That said, expect Australia’s tourism sector to rebound over the short- to medium-term as BA begins to re-vamp flights to Sydney, though the administrative regions outside of New South Wales will likely take more time to re-develop and market its tourism sector post-COVID. However, with the new omicron variant starting to sweep through the UK, it is likely that Australia may re-ban flights from London in the medium term if cases there continue to rise.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.
Alex is an Analyst focusing on political events in the post-Soviet space. With a background in international law and diplomacy, his expertise lies in the geopolitical, economic and energy security dynamics of the South Caucasus.