British Airways returns to Sydney

BA restarts its Kangaroo Route flights to Sydney via Singapore on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

By David Flynn, March 28 2022
British Airways returns to Sydney
Executive Traveller exclusive

British Airways is heading back to Sydney this week, almost two years since the airline was forced to suspend its popular Kangaroo Route in the early days of the pandemic.

BA’s first flight to Sydney is scheduled to touch down in Sydney on 29 March at 6.10am; the return flight, BA16 to London via Singapore, departs at 3.50pm.

Both legs of the journey make their familiar stopover at Singapore’ s Changi Airport, with travellers also able to book the individual flights to and from Singapore (such as London-Singapore and Sydney-Singapore).

“We can’t wait to welcome our customers back on board our Sydney to London flights and we will be honoured to play our part in reuniting families and friends with their loved ones after such a long time apart,” says Noella Ferns, British Airways’ Head of Sales, Asia Pacific.

However, BA’s dedicated London-Singapore flight remains suspended from the same date, with the BA11/BA12 service remaining off the schedule until the end of October.

The London-Singapore-Sydney route is also being converted from a Boeing 777 to the smaller but more comfortable Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

British Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner is expected to take over the Kangaroo Route.
British Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner is expected to take over the Kangaroo Route.

British Airways’ Boeing 787-9s feature eight first class suites and, for now, the airline’ s original ‘high density’ Club World business class seats (ranked in rows of 2-3-2)...

British Airways' familiar but not passenger-friendly Boeing 787-9 Club World business class.
British Airways' familiar but not passenger-friendly Boeing 787-9 Club World business class.

... rather than the latest Club Suites design with increased personal space, sliding doors and perhaps most importantly, direct aisle access.

British Airways' impressive new Club Suites business class.
British Airways' impressive new Club Suites business class.

Before Covid-19 took hold, British Airways intended to begin upgrading all its Dreamliners to the newer Club Suites business class from 2022, although an airline spokesperson tells Executive Traveller that this schedule remains largely on track.

Lounge access for BA15/BA16

Travellers departing from Sydney on BA16 will be able to use the business and first class lounges of Qantas, depending on their travel class and status:

  • first class passengers, British Airways Executive Club Gold members and their Oneworld Emerald equivalents (including Qantas Platinum and above) can make their way to and through the frosted doors of the Qantas First lounge
  • business class passengers, British Airways Executive Club Silver members and their Oneworld Sapphire equivalents (including Qantas Gold) should head to the Qantas Business lounge

In pre-pandemic days BA inked a contract to use Sydney Airport’s independent The House lounge, although even if this remains in place, eligible British Airways passengers are still entitled to visit the Qantas lounges by dint of both airlines’ membership in the Oneworld alliance.

British Airways has confirmed to Executive Traveller its Singapore lounge will remain closed for now, with travellers redirected to the independent Marhaba Lounge at Changi T1 – although there’s also the option to visit the Qantas Singapore lounge when the London-Singapore BA15 flight arrives shortly before 6pm (sadly, at the time of writing the Qantas Singapore lounge closes just before the 9pm arrival of the Sydney-Singapore BA16 flight).

BA now welcomes Aussie frequent flyers

As previously reported, BA has also reopened membership to its Executive Club frequent flyer program to residents of Australia, having pulled down the shutters on membership applications from Australia and New Zealand in 2003.

Joining British Airways Executive Club is free, and while it obviously makes sense for people who regularly travel on British Airways – either to London, or on shorter BA flights within the UK or to Europe – the BAEC scheme boasts a few advantages over Qantas Frequent Flyer.

That includes a higher serve of Tier Points (equivalent to Status Credits) even when travelling on Oneworld partner airlines such as Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and Finnair.

BAEC's Avios points deliver solid value for money when redeemed on flights, and the Avios you earn travelling from Australia to the UK (for example) can easily be used for quick UK or European trips.

And Avios themselves have gained new flexibility with Qatar Airways now adopting Avios as the frequent flyer rewards currency of its Qatar Airways Privilege Club loyalty program.

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