Only five passengers permitted on some flights into Australia under ‘pitiful’ new limits
Some international flights arriving in Australia will be restricted to only five passengers, while others won’t be allowed to carry passengers at all, under strict new rules which begin next week.
Under the new restrictions, which will be in place from July 14 to the end of August, Sydney can receive 1505 international passengers per week, Melbourne and Brisbane can take 500 each, and Perth will accept just 265.
It comes after the national cabinet last week agreed to slash the number of international arrivals by half to ease pressure on quarantine hotels.
Executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia, Barry Abrams, says the “pitiful” number of travellers allowed into Australia means airlines are “going to need to bump about 19,000 passengers”.
“There’s no easy or clean way to do this because, for now, the numbers are so pitiful,” he told Stephen Quartermain and Emily Power, filling in for Ross and Russel.
Mr Abrams says many airlines have already decided to operate freight flights only, while others have ceased flights entirely.
“For a number of airlines they’ll need to look into their flights to see if it’s still worth running them,” he said.
“The airlines have been very keen to keep a level of connectivity to Australia … and for them as airlines to justify keeping an office, staff, a base.
“If they have to close head offices and staff offices here it means the decisions and the timing to restart are going to be a lot harder.”
Press PLAY below to hear how the new passenger caps will affect flights