Travel-hungry Queenslanders prepared to bet on international borders opening by July will pay hundreds of dollars for their long-awaited seat on an overseas flight, new analysis reveals.

This week globetrotters were given the strongest indication yet that international travel would return within months, with two of Australia's largest travel organisations revealing plans for the border to come down.

Qantas has started selling seats to the US and UK from July and Flight Centre boss Graham 'Skroo' Turner revealed his organisation would closely watch and was ready to follow.

It means that after a year of lockdowns, deaths and, the world's greatest travel destinations may again be at our fingertips.

Qantas is now selling return tickets to a range of international destinations from August.


Port Moresby: $296

Fiji (Nadi): $628

Auckland: $653

Kuala Lumpur: $838

Tokyo (Narita): $1061

Hawaii (Honolulu): $1077

Los Angeles: $1445

Paris: $1893

Rio de Janeiro: $1918

London (Heathrow): $1950

However, whether Australians can travel overseas by the end of July depends on the federal government removing the existing ban on leaving the country.

Currently, citizens and permanent residents can't leave Australia without an exemption.

Travel exemptions include for business, medical treatment, compassionate grounds or if you are away for three months or longer.

International leisure travel is unlikely to proceed without changes to the nation's already stretched hotel quarantine system.

All international arrivals, except those from New Zealand, must complete a 14-day stint in hotel quarantine.

Travellers from Sydney have their permits checked in the Qantas terminal at Melbourne Airport. Picture: Ian Currie
Travellers from Sydney have their permits checked in the Qantas terminal at Melbourne Airport. Picture: Ian Currie

The Commonwealth has also capped international arrivals at just over 7000 people per week, making it unlikely residents will be able to travel overseas for holidays while their fellow Australians struggle to return home.

Health Minister Greg Hunt distanced the government from Qantas' optimism, declaring more information about the vaccine's success was needed.

"I'm not going to make any predictions on specific timeframes," he said.

"But we know as there's more vaccination around the world, more vaccination in Australia, and we know whether or not there's a transmission control which comes with the vaccine.

"What we don't know is how effective it will be at preventing transmission … so that's what will determine the pace."

Mr Hunt tipped the nation would see a "progressive opening up".

"There won't be just one day where all of a sudden everything's open," he said.

"The world's going to have to work through this."

Regardless, the news that international travel could again be on the cards has buoyed Queenslanders.


Originally published as How much you'll have to pay to jet overseas