Passengers face 11-hour stopover as Qantas rejigs London A380 schedule

Hundreds of travellers will have an extended layover in Singapore to skirt Heathrow caps and chaos.

By Chris Ashton, July 18 2022
Passengers face 11-hour stopover as Qantas rejigs London A380 schedule

Qantas has been forced to reschedule two flights out of London’s Heathrow Airport this week, following the airport’s decision to impose a limit of 100,000-passengers per day in the hope of easing congestion amid extended delays.

The London-Singapore-Sydney QF2 service on Tuesday July 19 will now depart nine hours earlier than usual – at 12 noon, and from Heathrow Terminal 4 instead of the usual Terminal 3 – in an effort to avoid the peak-hour passenger crush.

However, this will leave hundreds of passengers on the Airbus A380 superjumbo facing an 11-hour stopover in Singapore once the plane lands around 8.30am – with Qantas saying it will provide passengers with accommodation – before the flight continues to Sydney on its regular timetable, with a 7.30pm departure and 5am touchdown.

The airline says it is contacting all passengers booked on Tuesday’s QF2 flight to alert them to these changes.

“Like all airlines, we’re disappointed at the decisions made by Heathrow Airport to suddenly reduce passenger capacity and we are doing all we can to minimise the impact of this on our customers,” a Qantas spokesperson told Executive Traveller.

“We have two flights a day to London and we want to preserve them at all costs given people’s travel plans are at stake.”

“We’ve managed to negotiate a workaround that isn’t perfect but will get our customers to their destination. We continue to work with Heathrow on improving this situation.”

The departure of Sunday’s London-Perth flight QF10 was delayed by three hours due to Heathrow Airport’s directive.

At the time of writing these are one-off changes, rather than an ongoing re-timing of Qantas’ two flagship flights on the Kangaroo Route.

Airlines scramble to cut flights

Heathrow Airport’s introduction of passenger caps from July 12 to September 11 amid staffing shortages and surging travel demand left airlines scrambling in the peak travel season. 

Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye says the reduction of an estimated 4,000 passengers per day will give travellers “confidence that everyone who does travel through the airport will have a safe and reliable journey and arrive at their destination with their bags.”

British Airways was among the first airlines to reduce capacity, scrapping a swathe of flights for the summer season, with Virgin Atlantic quickly joining the cull.

Qantas partner Emirates initially rejected the airport's sudden demands in a strongly worded statement, saying the “airmageddon” situation at the airport was the result of the hub’s own incompetence. However, it has since backed down and trimmed schedules to suit. 

Following discussions between the Emirates President and Heathrow CEO, the Gulf carrier says it’s now “willing to work with the airport to remediate the situation over the next two weeks, to keep demand and capacity in balance and provide passengers with a smooth and reliable journey through Heathrow this summer.”

Flying six times daily between London and Dubai on its A380, Emirates has agreed to cap sales on its flights out of Heathrow until mid-August, giving the hub a chance to ramp up resources.

Qantas’ twice-daily flights between Australia and Heathrow carry a maximum of 1442 passengers, which represents just 1.4% of total passengers under the airport’s cap.

Heathrow has struggled to cope with surging summer travel demand in recent weeks, with reports of three hour-plus waits at the carousel and many passengers arriving at their destination to find their bags didn't even make it onto the flight. 

As a result, many passengers are turning to the use of high-tech tracking devices to keep an eye on their belongings, as well as seeking compensation for delays via the EU261 and UK261 consumer rights laws.

16 Apr 2016

Total posts 4

Do we know if this is ongoing or just tomorrow’s flight? I’m booked on Tuesday 26th QF2 but haven’t heard anything yet 🤔🤔🤔

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2540

Hi Sarah – these are currently just one-off changes, so the shift for QF2 is at the moment restarted to tomorrow, Tuesday July 19.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 967

It is what it is, I can think of worst things in life than a 11 stop over in Singapore. For an additional $100.00 a TripaDeal tour of Singapore with a Chilli Mud Crab.


09 May 2020

Total posts 566

800+ pax getting accommodation and probably F&B voucher for a 11 hr stopover in SG on QF’s tab? 


Good luck to those on the flight getting contacted in time. How they are going to deal with those not contactable or unable to change their travel plans some 9 hours early, that will be the more interesting news

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 16

I remember when Qantas started the A380 flights to London in 2008, the London to Sydney return flight departed Heathrow at around midday for a Singapore arrival in early morning and arrival in Sydney later that evening.  Why can’t they replicate the arrangement instead of requiring people to have a 11 hour layover in Singapore.

18 Jul 2022

Total posts 1

Anyone know of the potential impacts of delays to QF10 across the rest of the network e.g onward flight of QF93? Noticed day day 1 the late arrival into melb and delay of qf93.

19 Jul 2022

Total posts 1

Qantas is also advising that food and beverage service will not be run as per usual on the QF2 leg to London. Does anyone know what this means. 

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 166

Whatever it means, you can be 100% sure it won't be a good thing for the pax.


14 Jul 2020

Total posts 4

Why wouldnt they just continue the QF2 from Singapore to Sydney? The old QF32 used to leave at a similar time early morning from Singapore arriving evening in Sydney. 


23 Oct 2015

Total posts 26

Why on earth don’t they simply continue the flight to sydney during the day?

It would get into Sydney around 7pm, then you could either get home, or have a night in a sydney hotel, rather than 11 hours at Singapore.

Strange decision making process 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 462

A significant number of passengers join the flight at SIN. By doing it this way, QF minimises the number of passengers disrupted.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Feb 2011

Total posts 12

I would guess that the long layover in Singapore is so that Singapore originating passengers and Qantas + code share + Jetstar connecting passengers through Singapore are not impacted. 

I was on QF10 on Sunday.  Talking to the flight crew I got the impression that the delay to that flight (i.e. QF10) would continue for a while given the ongoing problems at Heathrow.  But maybe I misunderstood.

Aegean Airlines - Miles & Bonus

16 Jul 2019

Total posts 25

Contributing as a lawyer - I suspect that QF will claim / negotiate damages from Heathrow for the additional costs incurred by them in Singapore. By limiting the time change only to LHR and not Singapore they're mitigating that damage by not impacting the passengers starting in Singapore bound for Sydney. Mitigation is something QF is required to do legally. 

I live in Europe and cay say that many airlines/airports here have totally messed up their 2022 planning. Let's see where it all ends up.  

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