British Airways returns to Sydney from March 2022

BA flags a restart its Kangaroo Route flights to Sydney on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

By David Flynn, January 5 2022
British Airways returns to Sydney from March 2022

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 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.

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.

Read more: Is BA Executive Club membership worth it for Australian travellers?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jun 2018

Total posts 14

Welcome back to those dreadful B/C seats: forget it!

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 510

Never had good experience with BA flights, QF was better in every aspect (and that’s saying a lot when I am using QF as a reference)

However announcement like this is really putting QF on notice, where major airlines are already expecting major demand from/to Australia enough to increase capacity in this way. A380 definitely does give the cattle class pax more opportunities to have safe distancing and hopefully enough conscious selection of A380 over other planes will give this airplane another shot in a longer life expectancy than what is predicted during the height of the pandemic 

Seriously waiting 6 months for QF A380 product is nuts!

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 624

Not sure your point re the A380. BA isn’t flying the A380 to Sydney. The A380 a seperate slight just to Singapore. The Sydney flight is a 787 from London to Singapore and onto Sydney. 

And one thing I am certain on is Qantas will have done the numbers on the viability of being the A380 back sooner. I have no doubt they would be flying them earlier than having them sit in storage. 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 510

@AJW

I take your point on the difference in BA and QF routes and which aspect is serviced by A380, which I apologise if it sound confusing

My take was in perspective to news about several airlines planning to fly their A380 to Australian ports and that QF continue to work on scheduled return in 6 months. As reflected in my posts in other threads, I am surprised that QF’s lack of confidence in demand such that they wouldn’t consider the possibility that by early 2022 the demand would be there. 

Remember we are talking about scheduling A380 to start in April 2022.

I agree that the accountants would have done the numbers, but it’s the issue of chicken and the egg. Some pax may not care, but the discerning pax would realise that A380 give more space for pax to “safe distancing” (or at least to get up and stand around in the gallery areas) and considering QF still seemed to be selling seats but not fulfilling the flight schedule (see the news on MEL-LDR schedule in Nov), the fact that even with this sell and switch mentality still persisting, (they could have advertised their A380 as starting earlier but still switch metal) pretty much reflect their view of the role of A380 in the post COVID QF network.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 101

Honestly, if you ask a person not lurking on these sites what aircraft they’re on or prefer, they have no idea.  This includes my partner who hears me talking planes all the time. 

06 Oct 2021

Total posts 4

The A380 point is very relevant. On the LHR/SYD/LHR route, BA offers the option of changing between the BA15/16 787 and BA11/12 A380 in Singapore. This is often a deliberate choice of frequent fliers as a) the A380 is preferred by many b) the longer stopover in SIN allows for more lounge/exercise/shower time and c) the flight number change counts as two sectors each way and thereby on a round trip provides the minimum 4 needed to qualify for BAEC membership. Those 4 sectors also earn more Tier Points in the BA frequent flyer scheme and the last time I looked, earned pretty much enough Tier Points to immediately qualify for a BA Silver Card (=QF Gold) in a round trip routed this way. 

06 Oct 2021

Total posts 4

"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."

Also don't forget that BA Avios often give better value that QF points on QF Australian domestic & Trans Tasman flights.

25 Feb 2021

Total posts 4

There is absolutely no way on God's green Earth that I would ever book a flight on BA whilst they have those goddam awful J class seats! I love to fly on the A380, but BA ruin the whole experience by jamming too many pax into their J class. Once was enough and I vowed on that BA flight from LHR-SIN that I would never do it again. I value my privacy too much and having the person seated next to me so close that I could hear them breathe for 9 hours, was enough to convince me.  It's a shame because I've always found the BA cabin crew to be friendly and diligent and I always enjoyed the British inspired meals. But those seats........

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 468

Then you need to put more thought into seat selection on BA. If you choose the right seat, they are very private, beside the window, and also have direct aisle access. 

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 663

Does anyone here actually pay to fly BA in J class??

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 468

Yes, I do, and have done so on multiple trips between Australia and London, and transatlantic.   If you choose the correct seat, you have both direct aisle access and a very private seat (far more than the QF J seats, for example).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 May 2015

Total posts 6

Which ones thanks ?

Actually Joe, not everyone here shares your negative attitude towards pretty much everything. My brother splits his time between London and Singapore, well he used to before Covid, so he could choose between BA, SQ and QF for direct flights. He generally favoured BA for status but also was able to pounce on some very good deals which came up, he knew the best Club World seats to get on the A380, and while he's in love with the A350 Club Suites, he's not too fussy about Club World especially if the price is right. He also does some SQ flights to keep up his Star Alliance status, which is handy for trips into Europe with Lufthansa and Swiss, and admittedly they've got a much better business class across the board on the A380s and B777s, but if you get the right pricing then BA will do!

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 175

I'm London based and although BA Gold I would avoid flying with them and instead use OneWorld partners.

Since restrictions have been wound back here in europe i've been back to travelling a fair bit for work.  In the last few months i've flown Swiss, Lufthansa, Ethiopian (surprisingly excellent) and Emirates, all in Business.

One work trip was to Toronto and I had no choice but to fly BA Manchester - London - Toronto and back.

It had been a while since i'd flown BA and I never really look forward to it.  I have to say that WOW they have stepped their game up.  Or perhaps it's more that competitors have fallen behind (I was particularly disappointed with Swiss and LH).

Firstly, I was fortunate to have the BA Club Suites both ways.  IMHO, these seats are superb and FAR superior to the all aisle access seats QF uses.

Catering was very decent.  There are still some 'cos of COVID' elements such as all courses being served at once but it was definitely superior to what I was offered on LX/LH/EK.

The lounges I think have actually gotten better with the ordering of food direct to your table via QR code.

What impressed me most however was the inflight service.  This has always been very hit and miss at BA.  I've experienced both my BEST EVER and WORST EVER flight crews on BA.  However, each of the four sectors I flew, the inflight service was FLAWLESS.  The crews worked hard, were charming, chatty, engaging.  I'm not sure if it is the benefit of mixing the old contract crews with the new contract crews (pre pandemic they only flew with their own contract colleagues.  Now all crew is on the same).  Or, whether after a long furlough from flying they're just happy to be back.  But the consistency impressed me as well as the natural engaging way.

It's a real shame SYD will be left with the old club seat.  I imagine aspects like which aircraft and which product to use on each route isn't random and drawn out from a hat so I guess for whatever reason, BA is putting their Club Suites on routes that have greater competition or yields.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 175

A pity BA didn't keep the 777's on the SYD route.  They announced today that ALL of their 59 777's will have the new club suite by end of next year.

I'm sure the 777s will be back when demand returns, but don't forget that the 787s are also getting Club Suites.

06 Oct 2021

Total posts 4

"Does anyone here actually pay to fly BA in J class??"

Yes, I do, frequently. and I also use the Avios earned (and Amex 241 for reward flights now that it's available for flts ex SYD). Just picked up 4 Club World incl connection to FCO for just over $20k in June, which was well below QF,EK etc. Seats in the 787 mini-cabin (rows 6 & 7) are quite acceptable, though having tried the superb BA A350 with new Club Suites I do wish that could be an option on this route. No regrets re the 777 removal, though.

01 Apr 2014

Total posts 104

Can anybody comment on the BA B789 First Suites compared to QF and EK? I usually go to LHR on EK A380 (using QF codeshare) instead of QF A380. The CX B777 F cabin is also nice and private, but not available on HKG-Aust sectors. The BA First Suite is noted in the article as being "cosy", which perhaps translates as cramped? Looks nice and modern, but the footwell in bed mode looks a bit cramped (relative to other First seats that is). And to get in before the usual haters do, yes - I actually pay for my own tickets....

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 9

EK > CX > QF > BA for F imo

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 101

It’s a very long time since I’ve don’t EK first so it’s not fair for me to compare, but QF in my experience is a more comfortable seat than the BA one. That said, I did like the BA 787 F seat but it was a day sector and I didn’t need to sleep. The food was not as good as QF and the crew seemed less engaging. But TBH I’m splitting hairs they’re both good. Im self employed so I pay for my own flights; for me it always comes down to dollars/status credits/timing. 


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on British Airways returns to Sydney from March 2022