New South Wales will reopen its state border with Victoria later this month.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is taking a ‘calculated risk’ in reopening on 23 November.
It comes as Victoria recorded its fifth consecutive day of zero infections.
“Very proudly I say NSW will be the only jurisdiction in Australia that will be welcoming residents of all states, of all jurisdictions,” she said at a media briefing.
The reopening allows free movement between Australia’s two most heavily populated states, and its busiest air route.
Qantas and its low-cost brand Jetstar said they plan to operate ‘thousands of flights’ between the two states.
They will operate more than 250 flights on five routes, to Melbourne and regional destinations in Victoria, Qantas said.
“Pre-Covid, Melbourne-Sydney was the busiest air route in Australia and the second busiest in the world. On a busy day, Qantas and Jetstar would operate more than 100 flights per day between New South Wales and Victoria. During the lockdown, our schedule was reduced to as low as one flight a day,” said Qantas Domestic & International CEO, Andrew David.
Qantas called the move a ‘sensible, risk-based approach to borders.’
The reopening will see more grounded planes back in service and more employees returning to work.