Qantas has temporarily suspended all scheduled passenger flights to and from London airports.
The airline is operating very limited flights from Darwin to London Heathrow Terminal 3 – typically 4 a month – on behalf of the Australian Government to allow UK citizens to return home from Australia.
The earliest Qantas will resume scheduled passenger flights from London Heathrow is late December 2021. This is dependent on the Australian Government relaxing border controls on inbound and outbound international travel. Any easing of border controls is likely to be very gradual and it will be some time before non-essential travel to Australia is allowed.
When Qantas resumes flights from London Heathrow they will be operated with Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
Flights to Sydney are expected to continue to operate via Singapore.
Qantas is exploring the possibility of operating non-stop flights to Darwin, rather than Perth. This is due to border controls in Western Australia.
Qantas’ fleet of 12 Airbus A380 aircraft is in storage. 10 of these will be brought back into service. 2 will be retired. Qantas anticipates operating flights between London Heathrow and Sydney with Airbus A380 aircraft from late 2022.
Non-Stop Flights to Sydney & Melbourne
Qantas has yet to place an order for Airbus A350-1000 capable of flying from London to Melbourne and Sydney.
The airline is confident there is still the demand for these flights post COVID-19 and regards it as a key competitive advantage over rival airlines and hubs. Though, in the absence of a firm order these are unlikely to launch before 2025. When these flights launch Qantas has sufficient slots at London Heathrow to operate up to four non-stop flights from London to Australia.
Special Qantas Series
To mark Qantas’ centenary in 2019, we published a seven part series on 100 years of flights between the UK and Australia, which were pioneered by Qantas and BA’s predecessor airlines Imperial Airways and BOAC.