Qantas Sydney-Singapore-London A380 flights to restart June 19

After more than two years, the classic Kangaroo Route and the A380 superjumbo are both hopping back.

By David Flynn, March 13 2022
Qantas Sydney-Singapore-London A380 flights to restart June 19

Qantas' flagship QF1 flight from Sydney to London via Singapore will resume from June 19, with the A380 superjumbo reclaiming pride of place on the iconic Kangaroo Route.

It's another welcome sign that travel is getting back to normal, and that scene is expected to include the reopening of the elegant Qantas Singapore First lounge, which has been shuttered since March 2020 – although the Qantas Singapore Business lounge unlocked its doors in December 2020.

Qantas' Singapore lounges: business class (left) and first class (right).
Qantas' Singapore lounges: business class (left) and first class (right).

Since November 2021 the Sydney-London service has been running on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and making the necessary stopover at Darwin (where, to ease the top end transit, Qantas turned Darwin Airport's Catalina Lounge into a temporary international lounge) due to Covid-driven transit restrictions as Singapore's Changi Airport.

Darwin will continue in that role until mid-June, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce tells Executive Traveller, adding that direct Perth-London flights would also resume on June 19 – just three days before the inaugural of the Perth-Rome route.

Joyce also confirmed that when the A380s come back to Sydney-Singapore-London they'll all be the upgraded superjumbos which feature the latest business class and premium economy seats, along with two new 'premium lounges' at the front of the upper deck and refreshed first class suites.

The Qantas superjumbos have been refreshed with new business class suites and upper deck lounges areas.
The Qantas superjumbos have been refreshed with new business class suites and upper deck lounges areas.

Both will be especially appreciated on the nearly 24-hour trek, compared to the original A380 business class Skybed seats and the single, narrow and not-very-comfortable 'lounge' area.

However, if you're sitting on a stash of Qantas Points that have piled up during the pandemic, the superjumbo's return could represent your best chance ever to snare a first class Classic Flight Reward seat.

Treat yourself (and a friend) to first class on the Qantas A380 from just 216,900 points.
Treat yourself (and a friend) to first class on the Qantas A380 from just 216,900 points.

If you plan ahead and are flexible with your travel dates, it's possible to find many Qantas First suites open to a points-based Classic Flight Reward booking at just 216,900 Qantas Points each way, which puts a Sydney-London first class return trip in your lap for around 433,000 points.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 664

Hope that also bodes well for the slight chance demand will be high enough to reinstate the A380 at that time as well...making it a true QF 001/002.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

What is the status of lounges at SIN currently?  I know both QF lounges remain closed.  What, if any, lounges in T1 have reopened?  I saw a photo on Twitter earlier in the week of a J class SQ traveller in T3 who said there were no lounges open when he was there. before his flight and instead was in a dedicated corner of the terminal that had been set up as a temporary lounge area.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

I was in Singapore, Changi airport on 10th January. I flew back from terminal 1 and while the Qantas lounge was open, both the Emirates and BA lounges were closed. BA may be open again now or very soon, not sure about Emirates yet.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 525

Why doesn't Qantas fly the kangaroo route via Bangkok and Hong Kong anymore? Would be better offer more options. As nice as Singapore is, not everyone wants to transit there, it's pretty boring. There is also certainly quite a bit of tourist and business traffic to Bangkok and Hong Kong. Seems Qantas has an obsession with Singapore.

Because of our business ties with Singapore. Singapore is Australia's largest trading partner per capita, and also houses the Asia Pacific HQ of many international companies with smaller regional offices in Australia. There will always be strong demand to travel between the two countries. Then you have Australians and business folks living in Singapore, who need to travel onwards to London.

Hong Kong already has a OneWorld partner that does a fine job and Bangkok is not in the same league yet. 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 525

Bangkok is a more interesting place as a transit stop though. Also for tourists too. Qantas is seriously limiting itself with its Singapore obsession. Singapore Airlines offers far more through traffic than Qantas ever will, not to mention direct traffic that ends in Singapore too.

@Asiabiztraveller - wrong. For years, Qantas flew via Bangkok and also Hong Kong. Of course there's limited demand when they offer fewer and fewer flights and increasingly poor service compared with the Asian carriers. No wonder they stopped flying onward from Bangkok and Hong Kong - better to fly THAI/Cathay.

I'm talking about pre-Covid at least. With Hong Kong's strict zero Covid policy, there might never be anyone allowed to step foot in that territory again. LOL.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 389

I know you'd prefer Bangkok to Singapore, you've made that comment a lot already, but there would be very good reasons why Qantas chose Singapore over Bangkok as its transit point for London. Even if there are more Aussie expats living in Thailand than Singapore, remember that Thailand's an entire country with many smaller cities than Bangkok, all spread out, while Singapore is one city and country. Aussie expats themselves are not always flying back and forth, so they are not the best indicator of demand. Far more Australians would have been flying to Singapore before COVID on business trips than would to Bangkok, just look at how many companies have their regional offices there, as well as in finance, and more will come there after what's happening in HK. Plus Qantas obviously has Jetstar Asia based in Singapore so there are connections from QF onto that. Basically, Qantas has obviously chosen Singapore for a lot of reasons which you haven't considered or don't agree with, and they're the ones with all the data at their fingertips, not armchair airline CEOs sitting on the sidelines.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 175

Spot On, QFP1. Well Said.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 525

QFP1 - you're being rude.

I never said abandon Singapore, just complement it with other transit cities. Besides, Qantas will never outperform Singapore airlines, with it's superior service and schedule, offering flights from 8 Australian cities and an entire Asian/European network that Qantas simply can't match. 

I'm simply stating facts - Australia's embassy in Bangkok happens to be far busier than Singapore and there is a lot of manufacturing in Thailand, which Singapore lacks. Australian manufacturing companies are well represented on the eastern seaboard and Thailand is the source country of well over 200,000 new vehicles (mainly medium size sedans and utes) that are imported into Australia each year, thanks to the Thailand-Australia FTA (TAFTA).

Bangkok is also home to many Asian headquarters of international companies and organisations, even if most of these aren't Australian or necessarily attract a lot of Australian business travellers. I was surprised to learn that the Rockefeller Foundation, the United Nations and many other major organisations have chosen Bangkok and not Singapore, for their Asian or SE Asian offices. Thailand is hardly the backwater you're making it out to be. Now with the upcoming Eastern Economic Corridor or EEC, there will probably be even more reasons for business travel to Thailand in the future. Not to mention the obvious - Thailand will always be important for tourism and can fill planes with holidaymakers in a way that Singapore can't. Singapore is mainly a transit destination and a business destination second - no one travels to Singapore for purely "tourism" purposes except as a stopover and thus jumping off point to other countries in the region (Malaysia/Thailand/Indonesia etc.)

Obviously different markets for business - Singapore is almost entirely finance/banking/insurance with a little bit of high-tech manufacturing, while Thailand is manufacturing/agriculture/services. However, Qantas has been under-serving Thailand relative to the past (15-20 years ago) - a single (albeit daily) flight from Sydney isn't enough in my opinion. I know that there are also thrice weekly Jetstar flights from Sydney to Phuket and also thrice weekly Melbourne-Bangkok flights.

At least make the regular Qantas flights that have been operating to Bangkok from Melbourne and Perth during Covid a permanent fixture post-Covid, though these would certainly be terminator flights.

I think that Qantas should consider "spreading it's wings" a little more, which would include bringing back the Bangkok stopover to London for the daily flight from Sydney. Hong Kong doesn't look feasible for a while to come, but if it ever comes to its senses, would make sense to bring back as well. Perhaps in the future, as the Vietnamese economy becomes stronger and with a large Vietnamese diaspora in Australia and increased Australian investment in that country, Ho Chi Minh City could even become a viable stopover port, but I realise that is probably some years away (probably around 5 years).

Also, for purely stopover purposes, Bangkok is slightly further away from Sydney than Singapore, but also closer to London/Europe. Geographically it is better positioned. However, I realise there is more to it than that and Singapore's Changi airport still beats Suvarnabhumi hands down (and don't even get me started on Don Muang). Then again, Changi is better than just about any other airport in the world.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

Singapore is used as QF's hub as well as being the hub for Jetstar Asia.  If QF were to operate individual disconnected services via numerous ports, there would be no hubbing opportunity

Are you suggesting BKK and HKG in addition to SIN? I think there'd just be not enough demand for Qantas to split its Kangaroo Route via more than one city. I think Qantas "obsession" with Singapore is more about the fact that it's proven to be the best stopover for decades.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 620

They used to fly to London via Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even to the point that QF1/2 was the Sydney/Bangkok/London route. 

They changed that when they dropped to two daily flights and I’m sure the drop wasn’t due to lack of demand though rather a lack of yield especially on the Bangkok route. Of course not helped by the A380 starting on the Mel/Syd- SIN - LHR route a year or two earlier. So Qantas went from 4 daily 747’s to two A380’s both via Singapore. 

26 Mar 2020

Total posts 45

I'm not sure Hong Kong would be a feasible transit destination they just banned all transit flights in quest for their Covid Zero policy. 

Bangkok would be an option your correct as a fair few Aussies do visit Thailand and is a great stopover destination - Singapore Changi Airport personally is much nicer transit airport than Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport

But i agree with you in that if your planning to stopover for a few days Thailand is much more attractive than Singapore

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 318

I'm keen to see the return of the A380 to QF1/2, but they still aren't in the QF schedule before Oct 2022.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2559

That's correct, the earlier timings have yet to be loaded into the schedule but Qantas has confirmed to us that the A380 is coming back sometime in July. You can't keep a good superjumbo down!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

It will be interesting to see how QF handle this flights.  They will want to make it qualify as a VTL flight so people joining or disembarking in SIN are not subject to strict quarantine requirements.  UK qualifies already but, of course, lots of people who join QF2 have been travelling throughout Europe and some of these countries will not have VTL status.  

To qualify as a VTL flight, all travellers must have spent all the of the past 14 days in VTL listed countries only.  

I guess, in theory, QF could avoid VTL issues by making the flight for SYD-LHR passengers only with no joining or departing in SIN but that does raise the challenge of being able to fill the A380 with such a condition in place.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 389

I expect it will simply be easier for Qantas to retain QF81/82 as its VTL flight and leave QF1/2 as a non-VTL service, meaning everyone flies the whole journey. Hopefully it won't be too long before Singapore drops the whole VTL scheme but I wouldn't count on that happening in a hurry!

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 199

I shall definitely be booking onto the upgraded SYD- LHR A380. Hopefully VTL will be back in place or scrapped totally by then. No reason QF1/2 cannot be part of VTL if it is still in place. I am sure demand for the A380 will warrant more planes coming back into service. I flew SIN-MEL this week in J on the A330 and business only had 2 spare seats with economy at least 80+% full. Hopefully both the Emirates and BA lounges in Terminal 1 at Changi will be open soon, I love normally going into all three (Qantas is the 3rd) when flying out of Singapore.

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 12

Im waiting for QF93/94 Melbourne to LA to go back to A380!! Hopefully this year. Everything always Sydney. 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 525

And Singapore. Not everyone wants or needs to go to/via Singapore, especially when you have Singapore Airlines covering Australia so well.

Plenty of Aussie expats living in Thailand, Vietnam and other countries, probably more than in Singapore. I find it strange there is no Melbourne-Bangkok option on Qantas (though recently there have been several Qantas freight/repatriation flights flown between these two cities) only Jetstar.

Like with LA, the focus seems to be almost solely on Sydney, when there is probably just as much business and leisure travel out of Melbourne.

14 Oct 2021

Total posts 2

Why dosent Qantas fly kangaroo route via Incheon  South Korea travelled  this way and onwards to Rome many times last few years on Korean Air included free STPC. Incheon airport excellet Would Qantas not be able to match prices  Did fly way back when Qantas had codeshare with Asiana now they are being taken over by Korean Air. Would fly Qantas metal if they went via Incheon rather than Singapore.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 412

It doesn't help Adelaide people who used to connect to what's now the QF1(Old QF9) at Singapore off the old QF81.schedules were crap in the final years compared to what we have via Perth today.waiting time is slightly less on the way there with a mid afternoon domestic leg to connect with the evening overnight to the UK BUT COMING home and LHR-PER means you get the long haul out of the way first,do the immigration and customs at Perth coming home and then a last evening flight of the day onto Adelaide getting in depending on time of year between 9:30pm and 10:30pm on the return(based on the old schedules using the then QF10/QF82 from say the nineties you might arrive from the UK into Singapore just after 6pm and onwards is just before 9pm arriving THE NEXT DAY between 5am and 6:10am TALK about a terrible arrival time especially if trying to get a limo or cab home or have family picking you up). We don't have a daytime service from London to Singapore on Singapore Airlines that would connect in enough time to make the daytime onwards connection to Adelaide sadly.


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