From Twelve Days To Non-Stop In 20 Hours

How flying between the UK and Australia has evolved from the first flights in 1935 which took more than 12 days.

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Qantas Empire Airways Lockheed Constellation Aircraft VH-EAC, Sydney, 1947
Qantas Empire Airways Lockheed Constellation Aircraft VH-EAC, Sydney, 1947 (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Qantas will fly non-stop from London Heathrow to Sydney from 2025.

For Qantas this represents one of the final frontiers of civil aviation: non-stop flights to anywhere in Australia from the world’s major cities.

It will also mark 90 years of radical evolution of civil aviation between the UK and Australia.

From one flight a week taking 12 and a half days to up to four daily non-stop flights Australia in 20 hours, here’s how flying from the UK to Australia has evolved from 1935 onwards.

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Qantas To Fly London – Sydney Non-Stop

Qantas has ordered 12 Ultra Long Range Airbus A350-1000 aircraft capable of flying non-stop from London to Sydney.

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Qantas Airbus A350-1000 Aircraft CGI Image
Qantas Airbus A350-1000 Aircraft CGI Image (Image Credit: Airbus / Qantas)

In 2017, now a lifetime ago in aviation, Qantas set Airbus and Boeing a challenge.

They were asked to design an aircraft capable of breaking one of the last frontiers of civil aviation: non-stop flights between London Heathrow and the East Coast of Australia.

Five years, a lot of PR hype, and a global pandemic later, Qantas has confirmed it has ordered 12 Ultra Long Range Airbus A350-1000 aircraft capable of flying from London Heathrow to Sydney non-stop.

This will cut the journey time from London to Sydney from 23 hours to around 20 hours.

The first aircraft are expected to be delivered between 2025 and 2028. This is some 90 years after the first passenger flights between the UK and Australia which took 12 and half days.

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British Airways Reopens Singapore Lounge

British Airways has reopened its lounge at Terminal 1, Singapore Changi airport.

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British Airways Lounge Singapore Changi Airport
British Airways Lounge Singapore Changi Airport (Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has reopened its lounge at Singapore Changi Airport.

This lounge, which opened in 2015 and features a separate “Concorde Bar” for First Class passengers, is BA’s only lounge in Asia.

The reopening follows the recent relaunch of daily flights between Singapore and Sydney.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 25 April 2022

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

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Heathrow Airport At Night
Heathrow Airport At Night (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 25 April 2022.

Another bank holiday weekend is approaching in the UK. Attention will once again be focused on how well airports and airlines are equipped to handle passenger volumes.

In response to reports BA is setting up a cabin crew base in Madrid to staff some short haul flights this summer, the airline has told The Telegraph it is “looking at a range of temporary options to ensure we can support our customers this summer as we ramp our operation back up.”

BA has in the past actively recruited cabin crew in mainland Europe for its London cabin crew fleets. It also has overseas crew bases to provide local language speakers on certain long haul routes, but has more recently generally preferred to recruit crews with specific language skills in the UK.

This would be the first time the airline has set up an overseas crew base to operate short haul flights. What is planned as temporary can often become permanent. Much like the establishment of BA EuroFlyer at Gatwick this in the past would have been seen as unpalatable to trade unions.

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BA Extends Long Haul Flights At Terminal 3

British Airways will continue to operate long haul flights at London Heathrow Terminal 3 throughout the winter season.

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British Airways Galleries Club Lounge, London Heathrow Terminal 3 (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways will continue to operate long haul flights at London Heathrow Terminal 3 throughout the winter season.

The airline is in the process of restarting long haul flights at the terminal following a two year absence. It moved flights to Barbados, Nairobi and Orlando from Terminal 5 to 3 on 30 March 2022.

Flights to Accra, Austin, Las Vegas, Phoenix and São Paulo – Buenos Aires follow shortly on 25 April.

This was intended to be for the summer season only, to allow American Airlines to move Dallas / Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Miami to Terminal 5 for the summer.

It has now been extended to the winter season, which begins on Sunday 30 October 2022, for many routes. BA has today, Thursday 21 April, updated its timetables.

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S7 Airlines Suspended From Oneworld Alliance

S7 Airlines has been suspended from the Oneworld alliance until further notice.

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Oneworld Alliance Logo (Image Credit: Oneworld)

Russian carrier S7 Airlines has been suspended from the Oneworld alliance with immediate effect.

The suspension is said to be by mutual agreement between the airline and Oneworld. It applies from today, Tuesday 19 April 2022, until further notice.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 18 April 2022

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

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bmi British Midland Aircraft
bmi British Midland

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 18 April 2022.

On this Easter Monday we take a look at how ten years ago this week a decades long rivalry at London Heathrow came to an end when its second largest airline, bmi, came to merge with BA.

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Qantas To Restart London Heathrow – Singapore – Sydney

Qantas will restart Airbus A380 flights between London Heathrow and Sydney from 19 June 2022.

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Qantas Airbus A380 at London Heathrow Terminal 3 (Image Credit: Heathrow)
Qantas Airbus A380 at London Heathrow Terminal 3 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Qantas will restart Airbus A380 flights between London Heathrow and Sydney, via Singapore, from Sunday 19 June 2022.

Since Qantas restarted international flights between London and Australia last year, all flights to Sydney and Melbourne have operated non-stop between the UK and Australia via Darwin.

Qantas will also restart non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Perth from this date. This flight will continue to Melbourne.

As ever, this is subject to change. Readers can keep to date with the latest international network changes from Qantas.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 11 April 2022

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

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London Heathrow Airport (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 11 April 2022.

Travel To London’s Airports This Easter

“Why is air travel such a nightmare right now?” asked yesterday’s Sunday Times.

Passengers continue to contend with short notice cancellations, security queues and long waits for baggage at airports.

The situation will no doubt abate, but not in the short term. If you are heading to an airport this coming Easter weekend, there is also disruption to rail services.

No Gatwick Express services will run over the four day weekend. Nor any Southern rail services from London Victoria to Gatwick. Southern and Thameslink trains will continue to run between Gatwick and London Bridge.

On London Underground, no trains will run between Acton Town and Heathrow stations. If you’re heading to Paddington, the Hammersmith & City line is closed all weekend. Heathrow Express and TfL Rail services to Heathrow should operate normally.

There are also no direct trains between London and Stansted. Full guidance is available from National Rail.

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JetBlue Launches London – Boston

JetBlue will fly to Boston at London Gatwick & Heathrow from late summer 2022.

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JetBlue Airbus A321 Mint Studio
JetBlue Airbus A321 Mint Studio (Image Credit: JetBlue)

JetBlue has launched its second transatlantic destination from London. The airline will fly to Boston daily from late summer 2022.

Like JetBlue’s existing route from London to New York JFK, this will be served daily from both Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

Flights from Gatwick launch 20 July 2022. Heathrow follows on 23 August 2022.

The prospects for this route are strong. Boston is major hub for JetBlue. It offers connections to a wide range of destinations in the US and Caribbean.

To give JetBlue credit, many attempts by established airlines to move from short haul to long haul flights, particularly with a small sub-fleet of aircraft, have either failed or experienced significant teething problems. JetBlue has so far managed to avoid this and its in flight service has been well received.

Flights are on sale now at JetBlue for travel into 2023.

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