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Australia's national carrier entices Aussies to get airborne again

SYDNEY, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Australia's national carrier Qantas, with its eyes firmly set on the nation's ease of border restrictions next month, has launched its largest-ever range of bonus rewards for frequent flyers.

Qantas frequent flyers can use the points they have been holding onto during the pandemic lockdown to book one of millions of reward seats across Qantas, Jetstar and more than 45 international partner airlines with free changes and cancellations.

The bookings are among an array of promotions Qantas is offering to get passengers back into the air. In late August, the company announced a vaccine reward mega prize for fully vaccinated passengers to support Australia's requirements of extending the travel bubble with an 80 percent vaccination rate.

The promotions have been warmly welcomed by customers. Thousands of frequent flyers snapped up seats between Sydney and London and Los Angeles recently, with members already redeeming almost 2 billion points on international flights in the first two weeks of going on sale.

Other flights to Tokyo, Fiji, Canada, Singapore, and New Zealand are due to resume from mid-December, with other popular destinations such as San Francisco and Bangkok expected to resume next April.

"There's no doubt we will appreciate travel in 2022 like never before and Qantas is excited to help Australians rediscover the joy of flying and making travel memories with their loved ones," said Qantas Loyalty chief executive officer Olivia Wirth.

"We'll also be announcing more domestic and international Points Planes," she said. "It's our way of thanking our frequent flyers for their ongoing loyalty."

The Qantas promotions came after the state of New South Wales announced it would reopen its international borders from Nov. 1. Australia's domestic flights are expected to gradually reopen as the various states and territories reach their vaccination targets.