International flights to Australia during COVID-19: Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines resume flights to all mainland capitals

Although Australia's borders remain closed to foreigners and no Australians are allowed to leave the country without special permission, two international airlines will reach a milestone this month with the resumption of flights to every mainland state capital.

Qatar Airways will resume flights from Doha to Adelaide on August 16, while Singapore Airlines will return to the Singapore-Perth route on August 18.

This means both airlines will be flying to Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. Inbound passenger flights to Melbourne are currently suspended but both carriers are currently flying cargo to the city. Singapore Airlines will also carry passengers outbound from Melbourne.

The changes mark the first time international airlines have flown to all of Australia's mainland state capitals since travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak saw flights slashed around the world.

Qatar Airways was the only airline to continue regular flights through this period, actually increasing its schedule and adding Doha-Brisbane flights for the first time.

During this time, Qatar Airways also became the world's largest airline based on revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) flown. RPK is an industry metric based on the distance travelled by paying passengers.

The airline recently announced it would not only require economy passengers to wear masks on board, but also face shields, which would be supplied in an amenity kit that also includes surgical gloves and hand sanitiser.

Singapore Airlines will fly to Perth three times a week when it resumes next week.

"These services to Perth will supplement our current cargo-only passenger flights between Perth and Singapore, which have been bringing essential supplies into Perth and supporting exporters and producers to transport their goods to Singapore and other destinations in the Singapore Airlines network," a spokesperson said.

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"The three-times weekly passenger services will also provide more options for those who have an essential need to travel or a need to return home."

Singapore Airlines has grounded much of its fleet during the pandemic, including placing some of its Airbus A380 superjumbos and Boeing 777s into a storage facility in the desert near Alice Springs.

See also: Singapore Airlines sends A380 superjumbos to Australian desert

See also: Photos: Thousands of planes grounded around the world

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