If there’s one route from London where travellers have an unrivalled choice of routes and airlines, it has to be London – Sydney.
Sydney is a destination that cannot be reached non-stop from London requiring a stop-over en route (hence the name the “The Kangaroo Route”).
Not long ago, it was typically a choice of a stop-over in Singapore or Bangkok. Now there is not only a vast choice of stop-overs in Asia, but also the Middle East with Emirates in particular soaking up significant volumes of traffic between Europe and Australia.
Qatar Airways is one of the Middle Eastern airlines that, to date, has not served Sydney. However, a relaxation of the bilateral treaty that governs flights between Qatar and Australia has allowed Qatar Airways to launch a new route from Doha to Sydney from Tuesday 1 March 2016.
Flights will be operated with a two class Boeing 777 aircraft and are well timed for connections to and from London Heathrow. The early evening arrival in Sydney will be welcome to those who prefer to avoid an early morning arrival.
Flight QR908 Depart Doha 20:10 – Arrive Sydney 18:05
Flight QR909 Depart Sydney 22:20 – Arrive Doha 05:05
Qatar Airways is a member of the oneworld alliance so members of oneworld airline frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn miles on these flights.
It will be interesting to see whether this move prompts greater co-operation between British Airways (Qatar Airways owns 10% of BA’s parent company International Airlines Group) and Qatar Airways.
BA has over many years reduced its coverage of Australia to a single daily flight to Sydney via Singapore. It serves other cities in Australia via codeshares with Cathay Pacific and Qantas Airways from Hong Kong and Singapore and the addition of Sydney alongside Melbourne and Perth to Qatar’s Australia network may prompt greater co-operation.