Qantas to restart Sydney-London, Sydney-LA flights on November 14

All passengers will need to be fully-vaccinated and take a pre-departure Covid-19 PCR test.

By David Flynn, October 1 2021
Qantas to restart Sydney-London, Sydney-LA flights on November 14

  • Qantas bring forward its first flights from Sydney to London and LA
  • All flights will be 'Points Planes' for the first week
  • Passengers will need to be fully-vaccinated and do a pre-flight PCR test

Qantas is bringing forward the restart of its Sydney-London and Sydney-Los Angeles flights to November 14 following today's announcement that the international travel ban will be lifted next month.

The airline says those destinations were chosen due to being "the most searched" on the airline's website in recent weeks.

There'll be three weekly return flights for Sydney-London's QF1/QF2 – which will now stop over at Darwin instead of Singapore – and three weekly return flights for Sydney-Los Angeles' QF11/QF12, both featuring the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

As previously reported, Qantas has also changed the timing of the London-Sydney QF2 and Sydney-Los Angeles QF11 flights from their usual schedule so the Boeing 787s can spend less time on the ground and more time in the air.

QF2 will now leave London at 9.50am instead of the long-standing evening departure, to arrive into Sydney at 7.05pm, while QF11 will be wheels-up from Sydney at 10.25pm and reach LAX at 5pm.

The tweaked timetables contain both upsides and downsides for travellers, especially those making connecting flights at either end of the journey.

Read more: Qantas shifts to daytime flight from London, overnight flights to LAX

"We know Australians can't wait to travel overseas and be reunited with their loved ones, and literally thousands are waiting to come back home, so this faster restart is fantastic news" said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

"We'd already sold out some of our international flights for December and seen strong demand on flights to and from London and Los Angeles, so we're confident there will be a lot of interest in these earlier services."

However, while Joyce welcomed the move towards seven days home quarantine for fully-vaccinated Australians, he is eager to see "what is becoming standard in many countries overseas, which is a test and release program."

'Points Planes' take off

The Sydney-London and Sydney-Los Angeles flights can now be booked on the Qantas website by "Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and some visa holders" – pricing starts at$1662 return for Sydney-Los Angeles, and $1869 return for Sydney-London.

In addition, every seat on the first week's flights can also be booked using Qantas Points at the lowest Classic Award Flight rate instead of the variable and much higher Any Seat Award rates, which are tied to and reflect actual cash price for each seat.

Any Seat Award rates can easily be triple the number of Qantas Point for a Classic Flight Reward.

For a one-way flight between Sydney and London, all business class seats are now listed at 144,600 points (plus $466 in fees and taxes), with premium economy at 108,400 points + $346, and economy at 55,200 points + $256.

If you've got your sights set on a trip to LA, you can snare a business class seat for 108,400 points + $351; premium economy is going for 81,300 points + $306, and economy at 41,900 points + $226.

Pre-departure PCR tests

All travellers will need to be fully vaccinated, although the airline says it will make  "exemptions for medical reasons and children."

In additional, every passenger will be required to return a negative PCR Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to the flight's scheduled departure.

On their return to Australia, passengers will be required to spend seven days in home quarantine, in accordance with requirements of the Federal and New South Wales governments.

At this stage, Qantas expects all other international routes to resume from 18 December 2021 as previously planned.

That said, the airline maintains it has the flexibility to activate "additional routes if other states and territories decide to open their borders earlier and reduce quarantine requirements to seven days at home, or less."


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Aug 2012

Total posts 74

I get the pcr test prior to departure, thats quite easy and not too expensive in au. I wonder what the boarding conditions are for the return flight???

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Feb 2015

Total posts 150

I think it will depend on the country where your flight departs, as well as the airline. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Feb 2015

Total posts 150

Most likely a pre-departure test too, as most airlines will require this regardless. 

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1192

Do we know if the free PCR tests where you get your results on your mobile will be accepted or do you have to go to a nominated clinic and get tested there?  The latter could be well over $150.


15 Feb 2017

Total posts 1

Most likely the $150 route.  

I have looked into requirements at my first destination who also require a test 72 hours before departure, and they want a proper certificate, the SMS message is not good enough.  

Good news is two birds, one stone I guess. 

07 May 2020

Total posts 151

@reeves...I just escaped Sydney 3 days ago with Singapore Airlines. The free covid test is not applicable because they dont give you a certificate. So you need to pay the extra $100 - 150 to have them print you a certificate to show at checkin.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Feb 2020

Total posts 9

Would be interested on knowing the definition of 'home' for home quarantine. For SYD and DRW travellers this would be easy, but for those of us who need to fly on to another port (PER/ADL/MEL/BNE/HBA, etc.) can we do our 7 days when we arrive in our home city?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 467

@BushTerrors I would expect it to be each state making its own rules, all obtaining the best available medical advice, of course.  I see you have PER at the top of your list.  Don’t expect to be allowed entry to WA without meeting the current rules.  No sign of even some reasonable concessions for double vaccinated.

Great news. For those with family in yankland and the auld country.

Not so good for those of us with family in Asia.

Flying to London, via Singapore and then flying back to Singapore. I'll pass for now.

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 232

Relax, George, Singapore will come soon enough. Qantas obviously had to make some quick decisions and choose the routes that would be the most patronised, sell the most tickets, and apparently the first Sydney-London flights sold out in hours and more are already being put on, so obviously QF made the right commercial call. I think Singapore is more of a business and leisure destination than reuniting families, so you can understand why it's not very first 'cab off the rank', but I wouldn't be surprised if a quarantine-free Australia-Singapore bubble agreement is announced soon and Qantas brings forward its SYD-SIN and MEL-SIN flights accordingly. And if not, well, December 18 is only a four weeks away from this November 14 restart.


30 Jun 2016

Total posts 51

Pre flight PCR tests are problematic as we start to open up post vaccination. Surely the expectation is that we are more likely to catch COVID - with hopefully less effect. The risk of catching COVID while in the UK for example will be reasonably high - at least a few people per flight affected. The logistics of losing your flight, extending stay and paying for another route home all make embracing travel with open arms still difficult and a little bit of a gamble.

This is a step in the right direction and probably appropriate for the current i Tustin but once vaccinations are totally filled out we will surely have to accept some people travelling will have the virus.

02 Oct 2021

Total posts 1

Does the USA recognise those with the Astra Zenica vaccination, as it is not approved there?

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1192

Apparently most countries are moving to a position of accepting vaccines approved by WHO. This makes sense as local drug enforcement agencies such as FDA and TGA only approve those drugs submitted for approval by manufacturers for local use.  As A-Z was never submitted or used in USA or similarly J&J submitted or approved here, there needs to be a common sense solution to this. 

09 Dec 2016

Total posts 17

Your statement "every seat on the first week's flights can also be booked using Qantas Points at the lowest Classic Award Flight rate" is incorrect - for example QF12 on 19 November is showing Premium Economy at 778,000 points as an any seat award - no classic award seats available

28 Aug 2020

Total posts 5

I'm wondering if it hasn't started yet. I haven't been able to get anything in April, either MEL or SYD- LAX. I want to go to NYC and it is routing me via HKG to JFK to book in J.  If I'm going that way I might as well just cop the extra 100,000 points for EK First. 

09 Dec 2016

Total posts 17

Your statement "every seat on the first week's flights can also be booked using Qantas Points at the lowest Classic Award Flight rate" is incorrect - for example QF12 on 19 November is showing Premium Economy at 778,300 points as an any seat award - no classic reward seats available


09 May 2020

Total posts 554

Don’t recall if anyone mentioned or confirmed if pax allowed to deplane at DRW

If not, and I doubt the engine can be running while refueling (and air conditioning only runs with engine running I suspect, whereas the pure fan can work just like in a car), it may be an interesting 90 min stop in tropical weather stuck on the plane.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1426

XWu as it is an hour and a half stop I’m sure they have worked a boarding lounge arrangement, and even access to the Darwin lounge. Given it is only twice a day they can close it off to the rest of the airport.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1192

Air conditioning onboard planes can be run from APU (Auxiliary Power Unit)  or from ground power whilst on ground. The engines do not need to be running to keep planes cool at gates. Occasionally you will be on a flight where the APU has malfunctioned and you will be told there will be a period with no air conditioning between loss of ground power and main engine start but that is rare. 


09 May 2020

Total posts 554


Reassuring to know aircon can be running without the engines.

Had a few trips from CNS, DRW, ASP and TSV where cabin was not properly air conditioned but it might be just my luck or recollection bias

15 Feb 2014

Total posts 10

It's a good start. Feeling a little envious of you Aussies as I am merely a Brit who used to travel London-Brisbane 5 round trips a year (almost all my family are in Qld, my business is in England). No hints as yet from the Fed Government or from the states for non-Aussies (fully vaxxed).

28 Sep 2021

Total posts 2

Any news of when Qantas will resume SYD - SCL flights?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2553


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