Qantas has resumed international flights from Melbourne for the first time since the onset of Covid-19, and will launch a new route from the city to Delhi in December.

The carrier’s first international service from Melbourne in 20 months took off for Singapore today (November 22).

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said that “Victorians have done it tougher than most over the past two years and we think many will see the restart of Qantas international flights as another important step towards life getting back to normal”.

Flights from Melbourne to London will resume later this week, followed by Los Angeles on December 19.

Meanwhile Qantas has also announced a new route from Melbourne to Delhi, starting December 22.

The year-round service will operate four times weekly, initially via Adelaide on the outbound leg.

The Melbourne-Delhi route follows the carrier’s recent announcement of flights between Sydney and the Indian city, which represent the carrier’s first commercial route between Australia and India in nearly a decade.

Qantas said that when the Sydney-Delhi service (which also launches next month) went on sale, the carrier saw “the fastest booking surge for flights leaving Australia since the airline announced its international restart plans in August”.

“While the past 20 months has undoubtedly been the most challenging in Qantas’ history, as we emerge from the crisis we are taking new opportunities to broaden our network in response to unprecedented pent-up travel demand,” said Joyce.