Long-time holdout state Western Australia will open its border to Victoria and New South Wales travellers next week, as airlines ramp up flights to WA.
Travel without quarantine to WA takes effect from 8 December.
The announcement has seen an immediate surge in demand with airfares rising to more than $1,000 one way from Sydney and Melbourne to Perth.
Fares should settle down as Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Qantas announced they will add hundreds of flights.
Virgin said it will add services between Perth and Sydney and Melbourne, and will operate an average 16 flights a week from Melbourne and 14 from Sydney by early January.
“The broader economic contribution that open borders will bring cannot be underestimated in what has been the most difficult year for many businesses,” said new Virgin Australia CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka.
By 14 December, Qantas and low coast brand Jetstar will operate more than 65 extra flights from Perth to Melbourne and Sydney each week.
They are flying only nine weekly services to Perth at the moment.
“Australia as a whole needs certainty about state borders staying open, particularly when the testing and tracing framework is now so well established. We continue our call for a consistent set of rules that apply nationwide,” said Qantas Group boss Alan Joyce.
Quarantine-free travel from South Australia is still not allowed as the state is considered a medium risk.