Qantas' flagship QF1 flight from Sydney to London via Singapore will remain in its new Sydney-Darwin-London mode "until at least April 2022", the airline has confirmed.
This syncs up with Qantas' decision to restart its Melbourne-Perth-London flight as Melbourne-Darwin-London due to Western Australia's insistence on keeping its borders locked down until March or April 2022.
After reaching agreement with the Northern Territory Government and Darwin Airport to temporarily reroute its flights from Melbourne and Sydney through Darwin, the airline noted "the Darwin hub arrangement will be in place in time for borders reopening from 14 November 2021 until at least April 2022."
A Qantas spokesperson has confirmed to Executive Traveller that the Darwin diversion and the April 2022 timeframe applies to the Sydney-London flight as well as Melbourne-London, when Melbourne's QF9/QF10 service should once again be making a transit stop in Perth.
At the time of writing Qantas' timetable shows Sydney-Singapore-London flights returning as of late March 2022, although as always, this is subject to change.
Despite QF1's temporary Darwin stopover, Qantas will continue with its daily QF81/QF82 service between Sydney and Singapore, along with less-frequent flights from Melbourne and – when its state borders reopen – Brisbane.
Although this means Singapore's Changi Terminal 1 won't see the twice-daily planeload of passengers in transit between Sydney and London, a spokesperson for Qantas told Executive Traveller the airline still plans to reopen one of its Singapore lounges to suit the December 18 restart of flights between Australia and the Red Dot.
It's previously been suggested that the elegant Qantas Singapore First lounge could roll out the welcome mat to all lounge-worthy flyers, from business class passengers through to Qantas Club members, as this is a smaller space than the Qantas Singapore Business lounge and better suited to the reduced number of travellers on those direct Boeing 787 and Airbus A330 flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.