With Qantas international flights taking off from Melbourne today for the first time in 20 months, the airline has announced it will launch a brand-new international route from Melbourne to Delhi from 22 December 2021, connecting Victoria to the Indian capital on a Qantas-operated flight for the first time in the airline’s history.

The new Melbourne-Delhi flight will operate four times a week, year-round. Flights from Melbourne to Delhi will initially operate via Adelaide, while flights from Delhi to Melbourne will fly nonstop. Domestic connections in Australia will be available.

This follows the news last month that Qantas will fly from Sydney to Delhi from 6 December 2021, with the outbound flight also stopping in Adelaide. The airline says when this route went on sale, it saw the fastest booking surge for flights leaving Australia.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the relaunch of international flights from Victoria will pave the way for long-awaited reunions with loved ones, as well as help the state retain its position as one of Australia’s premier destinations for global travellers.

“Victorians have done it tougher than most over the past two years and we think many will see the restart of Qantas international flights as another important step towards life getting back to normal,” Mr Joyce said.

“We are starting to see more and more Victorians booking a much-deserved international getaway, and as borders open up to international visitors we’re expecting to see them visit Melbourne in large numbers, which will give local tourism and hospitality businesses a boost.”

Qantas has rolled out a range of new initiatives including a customised digital travel guide designed to help passengers navigate travel requirements before they leave home.

Initial international flights are limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and parents in line with Federal Government requirements. Travellers also need to be mindful of vaccination requirements and mandatory pre-flight Covid tests before returning to Australia.

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