Qantas is intending to permit travellers on a few international trips without masks regardless of masks staying required on domestic services.
It comes as mask mandates in terminals will lift from Saturday after an Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) proposal yesterday.
Travellers will in any case be expected to wear masks on all flights, nonetheless, the AHPPC said it will give further advice on this in the future.
Qantas invited the AHPPC proposal and required the next step to be removing mask mandates onboard flights.
“Global studies show the risk of transmission inside aircraft cabins is very low due to the air being refreshed every few minutes, in addition to forward facing seats and HEPA filters which capture 99 per cent of airborne particles,” Qantas said in a statement.
“The Qantas Group intends to soon update our onboard mask policy for international flights to align with the rules at the destination.”
Masks are presently not mandatory on trips to the US, UK and Europe and Qantas plans to lift the face-covering requirements to these destinations.
Nonetheless, mask mandates are different in every nation, meaning travellers might have to wear a mask on one part of their journey however not another.
Qantas recognized these variable mask rules might cause confusion for clients, particularly with connecting flights, and have called on governments for more consistency.
“We’ll continue to make masks available on board all our flights and appreciate that some customers may wish to continue wearing them for the duration of their journey regardless of the international rules that apply,” Qantas said.
Qantas actually requires all international travellers to show confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination on flights.