BA, Qatar Airways launch joint flights to Australia

British Airways' own Sydney flight remains off the agenda, but its BA code now appears on most Qatar Airways flights to Australia.

By David Flynn, August 18 2020
BA, Qatar Airways launch joint flights to Australia

British Airways will add its BA code to Qatar Airways flights to Australia from late October, offering an easier way for its rusted-on travellers to make the long journey 'down under' – especially in lieu of BA's own London-Singapore-Sydney route, which was suspended in April 2020 and may not return until sometime in 2021.

Beginning October 25, Qatar Airways' flights from London to Doha and then onwards to Australia will carry a BA code alongside their native QR number.

For example, Qatar Airways' 8am Boeing 777 flight QR6 from London can now be booked through British Airways as BA7006; the mid-afternoon QR7 becomes BA7004, and so on.

Qatar Airways' Qsuite certainly trumps BA's own Club World or even Club Suites business class.
Qatar Airways' Qsuite certainly trumps BA's own Club World or even Club Suites business class.

Once passengers reach Doha they can change onto a similarly BA-coded Qatar Airways flight to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth – although that's where the BA codeshares become more cryptic, such as QR906 to Sydney being badged as BA6389.

The BA code is now grafted onto most of Qatar's London-Doha-Australia flights.
The BA code is now grafted onto most of Qatar's London-Doha-Australia flights.

Brisbane is noticeably absent from BA's codeshare roster, as Qatar Airways' current schedule only includes the Queensland capital as far as October 23 – although the airline is hopeful that it can continue to offer Doha-Brisbane flights beyond that date, potentially including its new Brisbane-Auckland leg.

Executive Traveller has approached both British Airways and Qatar Airways for comment.

British Airways and Qatar Airways were earlier this year granted approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to launch a five-year joint business agreement to partner on flights between the UK, Europe and Australia.

The pact strides well beyond the current "arm’s length codeshare and interline arrangements" relationship of both airlines by allowing BA and Qatar to co-ordinate on schedules, pricing, sales and marketing, capacity, frequent flyer programs and lounge access on selected routes between Australia and the UK/Europe via Doha.

The northern hemisphere end of the alliance taps into over 100 destinations predominately in the UK, France, Germany and Spain.

Some of Qatar's Australia-bound Airbus A350s still sport this excellent previous-gen business class.
Some of Qatar's Australia-bound Airbus A350s still sport this excellent previous-gen business class.

In addition to being a fellow member of the Oneworld alliance, Qatar Airways holds a 25% stake in British Airways' parent IAG and has confirmed it will fully support IAG's planned €2.75 billion equity fund raising, as well as place two non-executive directors on IAG's board.

"Our investment in IAG has always been for the long term and we continue to support the company through these difficult times for our industry," Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has said.

"We are confident that IAG will emerge from this global crisis as Europe’s leading airline group and we look forward to working closely together to deliver our joint vision to enhance travel opportunities for airline passengers across the globe."


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1203

Something about this tells me it is unlikely BA will return to Australia with its own metal.  It is an expensive operation for them on a very competitive route; they may see the QR option as a way to gracefully leave permanently.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 517

That would be sad. I say it's possible that they might return, perhaps competing with Qantas by flying directly to Perth, though they may prefer the Singapore stopover as usual. Time will tell as unrestricted travel is a long way off; by the looks of things it won't return until around July of 2021.


10 Jul 2019

Total posts 19

I tend to agree, BA have had various codeshares in to Aus in the past and I don't believe them to be the type of airline to sit back and let the competition have exclusivity on such a prestigious route. Plus, there is a lot loyalty from the Brits (some will say otherwise) so I shouldn't think they would have much trouble filling a plane once demand picks up. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jun 2014

Total posts 210

Agree, could possibly then see some project sunrise codeshares in 5yrs time if it 's gone ahead by then. 

18 Aug 2020

Total posts 1

Well something is definitely needed to help Qatar Airways stop cancelling flights back into Brisbane. Waiting since 20th July to return to Brisbane after receiving an exemption from Australia  to go to mothers funeral in Dublin flights available now til September. 3 cancelled flights by email only. Qatar are very quick to accept  payments if seats are not available they should not accept future bookings until all existing customers are given priority first. This  has had a huge emotional and financial impact on my family. Shame on Qatar airways for bumping off prepaid passengers in favour of 1st Class Bookings. Good luck ACCC!

22 Jan 2018

Total posts 100

When the demand returns to pre covid days, except without 747s for BA, they can happily repurpose this LHR slot and aircraft for the profit making NA routes. I’ve always wondered if they’d ever end the SYD Route as there’s just so much more Potential profit in other routes out of LHR; the whole historical reason can only carry you on for so long. I still suspect they’ll be double daily to SIN. 


03 May 2013

Total posts 670

BA pax who have not yet traveled with Qatar are not going to know what hit them; either in the air or on the ground compared with BA's crusty basic operations.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 204

I actually think BA might remain in Oz, QR have maxed out on rights and BA can shift their route to Via DOH, essentially giving QR and extra daily flight into Oz


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Jun 2018

Total posts 3

BA pax better off via the codeshare, better product & planes and experience. 

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

15 Mar 2019

Total posts 20

Just hope that this doesn't mean BA planes or crew being used.

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