By Christmas time, it will be almost 2 years since Aussies were able to freely travel the globe.
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The Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN) share price is sliding in morning trade, down 1.38% to $5.355 a share.
This comes despite new data that reveals Australians are building an overwhelming desire for international travel.
Travel search queries surge
New data from Qantas shows a huge pent-up demand for travel from Australians who have largely been prevented from traveling overseas since March 2020.
Last week, the airline reported its plans to relaunch international travel commencing on 18 December.
As The Australian reports, Qantas has since seen “searches of its international flights almost triple”.
In fact, the Qantas digital team reported a 175% increase in flight searches. Sydney and Melbourne to London were the most popular destination searches. Singapore and Tokyo were also high on the list of international travel plans “with most people looking to get away as soon as borders reopen”.
According to Qantas international chief executive Andrew David:
[Australians] could not wait to get back on an aircraft and head overseas again. So many people have missed out on seeing loved ones who live overseas or taking a well-deserved break…
While it’s up to government to determine exactly how and when our international borders re-open, Australia is on track to meet the 80 per cent vaccination trigger by December, which means international travel is within reach.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has been a leader in urging a coordinated national vaccination campaign.
The airline is requiring its own staff to get vaccinated and is eager to see domestic borders and international borders reopen.
However, Joyce pointed out that some Australians may find themselves in a situation where they can travel internationally, but not interstate.
According to Joyce (quoted by The Australian):
We might get into a situation where from Sydney you can visit your relatives in London, maybe Dublin, but you can’t visit your relatives in Perth or maybe Cairns and that would be sad if we got to that.
Hopefully we’ll get everybody to keep with the national cabinet plan which will mean everybody can get together at Christmas, domestically and internationally.
Qantas share price snapshot
The Qantas share price is up 11% year-to-date, just trailing the 12% gain posted by the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO).
Over the past month, Qantas shares have gained 17%.
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The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.