Graham Turner, Flight Centre

Qantas has cut all international flights except to New Zealand until at least October, prompting Flight Centre MD Graham Turner to say the situation is a “mess” and will “only get worse” for tourism.

Australia’s largest airline confirmed the move after Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said it’s likely the Australian border will remain sealed for the rest of 2020.

A Qantas spokesperson today told AAP all international flights have now been cancelled apart some scheduled trans-Tasman services, but will review if the border to other countries reopens.

Flight Centre MD Graham Turner described the situation as a “mess” and predicted further hard times head.

“It’s bad enough now but it is only going to get worse,” Mr Turner said in an interview on the Today Show.

“Our main thing is we want some decisions made, we need some certainty.

“Most people are predicting October/November is when everything really hits home and I think the governments don’t understand how bad it is.”
Turner called on all state governments to reopen their borders.
“From a business travel perspective we need all the states to participate so airlines can really ramp up their capacity and get back to some degree of normality.”
He said even then, domestic tourism won’t be enough to sustain many travel businesses.
“It will be quite a big boost for certain types of operators, those that do rely on domestic travellers,” Turner said. 
“However those that rely on international are going to have to change their marketing or where they get their customers from or they will be in a lot of trouble.”
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