Story highlights Qantas Australia is planning to launch a route from London to Sydney in early 2020, but it is not yet known if such a route will actually take off.
If it does, it would be the airline’s first route to the Australian city since 2009.
Despite years of false starts, Qantas Australia is set to launch its first long-haul flight to Australia in ten years, now that two new Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners have been delivered to its regional Perth base.
The new Boeing 737-800s will be used for long-haul routes from Perth to London and from Brisbane to Dubai.
The flights would give passengers a new option to connect at Sydney International Airport to frequent business and leisure partners that don’t have a Sydney long-haul route — including those in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, New Zealand and India.
Despite the delay in establishing a direct Sydney-London route to replace the current Australian route with a London-Sydney connection, that route is still in the works.
“Long-haul London operations require significant construction work — we are on track to achieve a service schedule and start-up schedule in early 2020,” says Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas Group.
In June 2015, Qantas announced a new long-haul flight linking Perth with London, but in the following year the airline confirmed that it was postponing the start of service, citing the need for an updated A380 aircraft to service the route.
For its planned route from London to Sydney in October 2018, Qantas partnered with British Airways , a UK carrier that offers between three and nine flights a week between London and Sydney.
British Airways presented a new business class section for its flights from London to Sydney, adding new restaurants, shower rooms and other innovative services.
But the partnership between Qantas and British Airways has now been terminated, leaving passengers with a seamless connection to British Airways to begin their flights in Australia.
How do other long-haul routes in the UK work?
The new route might allow passengers to create connections to travel to the Virgin Atlantic-operated London-Sydney route, but Richard Branson’s airline launched a new route from London to Hong Kong in early 2018, with flights for seven days a week.
Singapore Airlines launched a direct service from London to Singapore in late 2018, with a direct flight between London Heathrow and Singapore Changi Airport departing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The Singapore route was a joint partnership with Emirates and does not include direct connections to Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
If Qantas’ new Perth-London-Sydney route goes ahead, it would create a second Perth-London connection for passengers.