Australian flag carrier Qantas has released a tear-jerking but heartwarming new commercial that is directly aimed at encouraging more Australians to take up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccine. The airline hopes that once vaccination levels reach a high enough threshold that the government will loosen border restrictions and allow the travel industry to recover.
The commercial follows the story of several ordinary Australians whose lives have been put on hold by continuing pandemic restrictions. Australians have been banned from travelling abroad since early last year and international border closures might not be lifted until mid-2022 at the earliest.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has linked the easing of COVID-19 restrictions to vaccine uptake. Once 70 per cent of the population has been vaccinated, the plan is to reopen domestic borders and say goodbye to harsh lockdowns like the ones currently in force in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.
When the vaccination rate hits 80 per cent of the eligible population, it’s then hoped that international border restrictions can be eased – starting with fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents being allowed to quarantine at home rather than in managed hotel quarantine.
Hotel quarantine caps were reduced earlier this year preventing thousands of Australians from returning home.
“For us, getting the vaccine rate up to 70 and 80 per cent means thousands of people can go back to work,” commented Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce on Monday.
“With the Federal Government’s vaccine program ramping up across the country, now is the ideal time to say thank you to Australians for stepping up and protecting themselves and others.”
The problem, however, is that it has taken so long for the vaccine program to ramp up and uptake is still sluggish. The new ad hopes to pull at the heartstrings of Australians and encourage them to get vaccinated, imagining a time when people can travel freely again without needing to wear face masks or living under the threat of pandemic controls.
If that’s not enough, however, the airline is also offering 10 lucky winners the chance to win free flights, accommodation and fuel for an entire year. All Australian’s have to do is prove they’ve been vaccinated.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.