While it's not all smooth sailing just yet, this week has seen the announcement of some promising news regarding the resumption of international travel to and from Japan.
Of course, we all know how quickly things can change, but given the long 18 months we've all endured with international travel off the table, any reason to feel optimistic that it all might be over soon is welcomed by the team here at Uchi!
Qantas Suggest December 2021
Qantas, Australia's national airline, have announced plans to resume international flights as early as December this year, connecting to Japan, the US, the UK, Singapore and Canada as priorities.
These plans are hinged tightly to the Australian government's vaccination rollout plan which is currently on target to reach 80% by December. This is the figure which the nation's leaders have given as the target for the country to 'open up' and it is suggested that if this target is met, Qantas will offer flights for customers who are vaccinated.
The big question then becomes whether the Australian and Japanese governments allow travellers to enter without the need for 2 week hotel quarantine. Needless to say, if this is forced upon travellers, particularly if at their own expense, demand will be low to begin with. Both countries are rolling out 'vaccine passport' programs and hopefully a reciprocal arrangement can be made between these two allied nations.
We are sure there will be plenty more news to report on this front over the coming months!
Singapore and Germany Create 'Vaccinated Travel 'Lane'
While this news isn't specific to Japan, it is exciting to see countries coming together to build travel pathways as the world makes it's way out the other side of the pandemic.
Singapore (a popular source of inbound tourism to Japan) and Germany have created what they are labelling a 'Vaccinated Travel Lane' (or, VTL). As the name suggests, this is basically an agreement to allow vaccinated people to travel between the countries without the need to quarantine or self-isolate on either side.
The program begins on September 9th and, already, both German and Singaporean airlines are seeing significant interest in the flights they've released.
This will serve an interesting test case for other nation's looking to build VTL's. Fingers crossed Japan is able to strike some deals soon!
So the above gives us all a little hope about flying internationally in the near future, but let's look a little further ahead to United Airlines plans to re-introduce supersonic travel by the end of the decade.