British Airways is heading back to Sydney via Singapore from March 27 2022, almost two years since the airline was forced to suspend its popular Kangaroo Route once Singapore's Changi Airport banned transit passengers in the early days of the pandemic.
However, BA's dedicated London-Singapore flight will be suspended from the same date, with the BA11/BA12 service remaining off the schedule until October 31.
As a result, at least for the time being, the Oneworld member will rely on its Sydney-bound BA15/BA16 flights to carry travellers between London and Singapore.
A British Airways spokesperson tells Executive Traveller this decision to pare Singapore back to a single daily flight was driven both by reduced demand and ongoing uncertainty over the impact of Covid, especially with Singapore's strict measures imposed even on designated 'Vaccinated Travel Lane' countries.
The spokeswoman indicated that the London-Singapore service could restart earlier than October, with the airline's schedule and operations under constant review.
"Like other airlines, due to the current Coronavirus pandemic and global travel restrictions we are operating a reduced and dynamic schedule. We advise customers to check their latest flight information at ba.com."
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 787-9s 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)...
... rather than the latest Club Suites design with increased personal space, sliding doors and perhaps most importantly, direct aisle access.
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.
British Airways' Singapore lounge remains closed at the time of writing, with travellers redirected to the independent Marhaba Lounge at Changi T1, although there's also the option to visit the Singapore lounges of Oneworld partner Qantas.
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 if you want to set your sights on a lifetime of primo perks at the Oneworld Emerald level, BAEC Lifetime Gold status is far more attainable than Qantas Lifetime Platinum.
In the Oneworld alliance, to which both BA and Qantas belong, Executive Club tiers line up as follows:
- BA Executive Club Blue = Qantas Frequent Flyer Bronze
- BA Executive Club Bronze = Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver = Oneworld Ruby
- BA Executive Club Silver - Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold = Oneworld Sapphire
- BA Executive Club Gold = Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum = Oneworld Emerald
There's also the Executive Club Gold Guest List tier, which is BA's rough equivalent to Qantas Platinum One; and the invitation-only Executive Club Premier status, similar to Qantas Chairman's Lounge membership.