Which international airlines still fly to, and from, Australia?

Whether you're trying to get back to Australia or are returning home elsewhere, these airlines still have flights you can book.

By Chris Chamberlin, April 13 2020
Which international airlines still fly to, and from, Australia?

As countries continue to lock down their borders or restrict transit travellers as the coronavirus crisis escalates, it's becoming increasingly difficult for Australians who are still overseas to return home – and for visitors in Australia to do likewise.

With major hubs like Dubai, Abu DhabiSingapore and Hong Kong now closed to transit flights, here are some of the airlines and airports you can use to get back to Australia.

We've updated this list on 22 April 2020 and will continue to do so periodically, but be mindful that the latest travel information and restrictions can change rapidly, so always contact your airline to confirm things like reservations, flight times or transit arrangements.

We've included contact details for all airlines listed, but you may also wish to consider a travel agent – just be sure you're aware of any charges or conditions in the event of necessary changes to the booking. Even if an airline is able to issue a full refund, some agents may charge their own fees on top to cover for their work and lost commission.

Qantas

Most Qantas international flights are already suspended until June. However, special repatriation flights are currently in place during April.

Qantas will run ten government-supported return flights each week, each on a Boeing 787-9, which can be booked only through Qantas.

  • Melbourne-Perth-London (no passengers will be allowed to leave the plane at Perth) and Brisbane-Los Angeles will be weekly
  • Brisbane-Hong Kong and Melbourne-Hong Kong will run twice a week
  • Brisbane-Auckland and Melbourne-Auckland will run twice a week

Fares are fixed and only available in economy class. However, onboard catering is limited and in-flight entertainment is switched off.

In addition to the above, the airline will also mount additional rescue charter flights to and from other destinations when arranged with the relevant authorities.

Read: Qantas rescue flights to Peru, Argentina, South Africa

Bookings and enquiries: Visit the Qantas website, call 13 13 13 in Australia or +61 2 8222 2439 from overseas, SMS 0477 726 827 (0477 QANTAS), or try messaging Qantas via Facebook or Twitter.

Virgin Australia

Most Virgin Australia international flights are already suspended until 14 June. However, special repatriation flights are also running with the government's support.

Virgin Australia will run three return flights each week, each on a Boeing 777-300ER and bookable only through Virgin Australia.

  • Brisbane-Hong Kong will be twice a week
  • Brisbane-Los Angeles will be once a week
If you are booked on one of these essential-travel flights, we recommend choosing a seat in the Economy X section of the plane for extra legroom, as there are currently no extra charges for doing so.
Virgin Australia's Boeing 777 Economy X covers rows 20-26 and 39.
Virgin Australia's Boeing 777 Economy X covers rows 20-26 and 39.

Many of the airline's domestic flights will also be grounded from this weekend as interstate travel restrictions deter domestic travel.

Read: Virgin Australia grounds almost all domestic flights

Bookings and enquiries: Head to the Virgin Australia website, dial 13 67 89 in Australia or +61 7 3295 2296 from abroad, or try Facebook and Twitter.

Air Canada

The airline's Australian routes were already paused until the end of April. However, this has now been extended to the end of May.

Air Canada's Vancouver-Sydney (AC33) and Vancouver-Brisbane (AC35) flights will recommence on 1 June 2020, while the seasonal Vancouver-Melbourne (AC37) isn't slated to resume until the end of November 2020.

Canada currently allows transit passengers to connect between international flights, such as from Europe to Australia, provided they don't show any symptoms of COVID-19, don't leave the airport, have a confirmed onward flight and have either a visa or an Electronic Travel Authority, which can be requested online.

Read: Air Canada suspends Australian flights

Bookings and enquiries: Visit Air Canada online, call 1800 954 196 within Australia or check here for overseas numbers, or try Twitter and Facebook.

Air New Zealand

Most trans-Tasman flights aboard Air New Zealand are suspended until at least June 30 2020, with the few that remain all departing from Auckland – at least until the end of May.

Sydney gets three flights from Auckland per week (NZ103), while Melbourne (NZ123) and Brisbane (NZ145) get two return flights each during this period.

All other routes to Australia, including those from Auckland to Perth and Adelaide, are currently suspended.

Read: Air New Zealand slashes trans-Tasman flights

Bookings and enquiries: Use the AirNZ website, call 13 24 76 in Australia, check here for overseas contact numbers or try Twitter and Facebook.

Air Niugini

The Qantas partner is winding down services to both Brisbane and Cairns non-stop from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. This is projected to last until the end of April, with the schedule restarting after 1 May 2020.

Port Moresby-Sydney flights remain off the schedule for the foreseeable future.

Bookings and enquiries: Visit the Air Niugini website, call +675 327 3557, email [email protected] or try Twitter and Facebook.

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

ANA's NH879/NH880 flight between Sydney and Tokyo continue to run three times a week, although with the Perth-Tokyo route (NH881 and NH882) suspended until at least June 1, West Australians trying to get home from Japan might need to go via Sydney.

The introduction of a second daily flight between Sydney and Tokyo Haneda is pushed back until at least June 1.

Read: ANA reduces Sydney-Tokyo flights, cuts Perth-Tokyo

International transits remain possible via Japan, although restrictions apply to those who've recently visited higher-risk destinations.

Bookings and enquiries: Access the ANA website, call 1800 081 765 within Australia or +81 3 4332 6871 from overseas. ANA does not process new bookings or flight changes via its email and online chat services.

British Airways

After some disruption following Singapore's new transit restrictions, British Airways' flights from London to Sydney are now being temporarily dropped from April 9.

Cancellations are also affecting flights from London to Hong Kong from April 7.

Bookings and enquiries: Use self-serve options via the British Airways website, call 1300 767 177 within Australia (9am to 6pm AEDT) or +44 844 493 0787 from overseas, or try Twitter and Facebook.

Cathay Pacific

With the airline soon to cut capacity by a staggering 96%, flights from Hong Kong to Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth all stand suspended until early June 2020.

Flights to and from Sydney (CX100/CX101) will continue during this period, but are pared back to just three return services per week: a far cry from the four return flights per day Cathay Pacific was operating until the coronavirus crisis unfolded.

Read: Cathay Pacific axes almost all worldwide flights

While Cathay is also operating flights to Hong Kong from a small number of other cities, Hong Kong itself is now closed to foreigners, who can't even transit airside at Hong Kong International Airport.

Read: Hong Kong bans tourists and transit passengers

Bookings and enquiries: Use the Cathay Pacific website, dial 131 747 in Australia, check here for overseas contact numbers or try Twitter and Facebook.

China Airlines

Taiwan's China Airlines is continuing with some flights between Taipei and Australia for the time being, although some routes are suspended.

Taipei to Sydney (CI51), Brisbane (CI53) and Melbourne (CI57) will see scattered flights during the rest of April, before the schedule normalises in May.

International transits are not currently possible via Taiwan.

Bookings and enquiries: Visit the China Airlines website, check here for the best contact number for your journey, or try Facebook.

Garuda Indonesia

Garuda will continue flying to Australia for the time being, serving Jakarta-Sydney (GA712) and Denpasar (Bali) to Perth four times weekly (GA728) around once a week during April.

Other routes like Bali to Sydney and Melbourne, and Jakarta to Perth and Melbourne, are paused.

Transits via Indonesia are tricky right now as entry into Indonesia requires a pre-arranged visa, and travel is prohibited to those who've recently visited France, Germany, Holy See (Vatican), Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Bookings and enquiries: Visit the Garuda Indonesia website, dial 1300 365 330 in Australia or +62 21 2351 9999 from overseas, email [email protected] or try Facebook or Twitter.

Japan Airlines

Flights from Tokyo to Melbourne and now Tokyo-Sydney are both suspended until at least June 2020.

Unlike other key transit hubs like Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Japan does not currently have a blanket ban on transit travellers, but does apply some restrictions for those travelling from high-risk countries such as China. Competing airline ANA is still flying from Tokyo to Sydney at the time of writing.

Read: Japan Airlines halts all flights from Tokyo to Sydney, Melbourne

Bookings and enquiries: Jump onto the Japan Airlines website, call 1800 531 870 within Australia (11am to 9pm AEDT) or +81 3 4332 6871 from overseas, or try Facebook.

LATAM

Struggling to get home from South America? LATAM's Santiago-Auckland-Sydney flights (LA801) and direct Santiago-Sydney flight (LA803) are suspended through to the end of April. The normal schedule is currently set to resume after 1 May 2020.

Although New Zealand has enacted tough new border restrictions blocking entry to all visitors, Australians can still transit Auckland when connecting onwards to Australia aboard LA801.

LATAM's flights to Melbourne, however, are currently suspended.

Transit through Santiago Airport remains possible from other destinations.

Bookings and enquiries: Use the LATAM website, call 1800 126 038 within Australia or see here for overseas numbers.

Malaysia Airlines

Despite Malaysia's national airline previously pausing all flights to Australia, it is now reinstating limited rescue flights over the next two months, from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Route Flight April departures May departures
Kuala Lumpur to Sydney
Sydney
to Kuala Lumpur
MH123 April 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 28 May 5, 12
MH122 April 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 29 May 6, 13
Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne
Melbourne
 to Kuala Lumpur
MH149 April 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 22, 29 May 6, 13
MH148 April 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 23, 30 May 7, 14
Kuala Lumpur to Perth
Perth
to Kuala Lumpur
MH126 April 6, 13, 20, 27 May 4, 11
MH127 April 6, 13, 20, 27 May 4, 11

Bookings and enquiries: Use the Malaysia Airlines website, call 13 26 27 within Australia or see here for overseas numbers.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways continues to serve Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, including throughout April and May, although flights to Adelaide and Canberra are paused. The airline is also introducing non-stop flights from Doha to Brisbane and ramping up flights to other Australian cities over the coming weeks.

Read: Qatar Airways to fly to Brisbane

Passengers arriving at Qatar Airways' Hamad International Airport hub can still change to and from connecting flights, as long as they don't leave the airport, as Qatar has closed its borders to foreigners. If you see reference to 'transit visas' being withdrawn, note that these apply to short-stay visitors to Doha, not to transit passengers who remain 'airside' within the terminal.

Those with a longer transit time may be eligible for a complimentary stay at the Oryx Airport Hotel located in the international departures area, which also accepts paid reservations.

Read: Qatar boosts flights and brings back the A380

Bookings and enquiries: Visit the Qatar Airways website and use the promo code TRAVELHOME to receive up to 10% off a one-way booking (book by 15 April 2020, for travel until 15 April 2020); or call 1300 340 600 or 02 9165 4313 within Australia or +974 4023 0000 from abroad; or try Facebook and Twitter.

Royal Brunei

Brunei's national airline continues to serve Melbourne throughout April with two return flights each week from its Bandar Seri Begawan hub.

However, flights to Brisbane are currently suspended, as are the airline's flights from London.

International transits through Brunei, as well as entry into Brunei, are both suspended for foreign nationals.

Bookings and enquiries: Visit the Royal Brunei website, call 1300 721 271 or 03 8651 1000 within Australia or +673 221 2222 from abroad, or try Facebook and Twitter.

Singapore Airlines

With government restrictions affecting both transit travel and entry into Singapore, the nation's home carrier Singapore Airlines previously paused all of its flights to Australia for the time being. However, the carrier is now operating limited flights between Sydney and Singapore during April.

Route Flight Operating dates (April)
Singapore to Sydney SQ211 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28
Sydney to Singapore SQ232 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29

Read: Singapore Airlines cuts almost all flights

It's vital to be aware that travellers are not allowed to transit at Singapore's Changi Airport: if you're currently booked on a trip that involves changing between flights at Changi, you will not be allowed to board that initial flight to Singapore.

Read: Singapore now bans visitors and transit passengers

Bookings and enquiries: Visit the Singapore Airlines website, call 13 10 11 in Australia or try these numbers from overseas, or use Facebook and Twitter.

Thai Airways

Thai Airways have cancelled all flights to Australia until at least July 1.

Be aware that Thailand currently has strict requirements in place for transit travellers, requiring both a medical certificate indicating a negative test result for COVID-19 and evidence of a valid insurance policy covering at least USD$100,000 in COVID-19 care in Thailand.

Read: Thai Airways exits Australia, but extends frequent flyer status

Bookings and enquiries: Visit the Thai Airways website, call 1300 651 960 in Australia or try these numbers from overseas, email [email protected] or try Twitter.

United Airlines

United Airlines has suspended all flights between Australia and the USA with one exception: the daily San Francisco-Sydney service, which is UA863 from San Francisco and UA870 from Sydney.

Australians can still enter the United States for the purpose of airport transit (subject to the usual ESTA/visa rules), however, entry will be denied for those who've recently visited China, the European Schengen Area, Iran, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Read: United drops Australian flights, except Sydney-SFO

Bookings and enquiries: Head to the United Airlines website, call 13 17 77 in Australia, check here for overseas phone numbers or try Twitter and Facebook.

Tips for travelling last-minute

With fewer flights available than normal – and many of those remaining flights full with people returning home – planning your own journey may require lots of flexibility.

You may need to consider different departure dates, different routes and even a combination of airlines to get you back to your home city.

For example, if you're trying to return from Europe to Adelaide – where most airlines have paused international flights – you may first need to fly via somewhere like Doha which continues to welcome transit passengers, then into another Australian city like Sydney, Melbourne or Perth.

After 11:59pm on Saturday March 28, you'll then be required to remain in quarantine at a designated hotel for 14 days as directed by the government, before you can continue home (including onto a connecting domestic flight).

Also be mindful that only Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members are now permitted entry into Australia.

Read more: Australia quarantines all arriving international passengers in hotels

Additional reporting by Brandon Loo.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 231

Chris,

This is brilliant, thanks for putting this list together and I hope you keep it up to date as events unfold.

QFF - Platinum

23 Mar 2016

Total posts 11

Thanks for this

Any news on Malaysia Airlines please ?

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 118

Malaysia Airlines flights cancellations are covered in this article from earlier today.

27 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

Now you can buy ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Perth on the 5th of April 2020. That is the only flight to Australia.

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 283

My memory is that Qantas announced a week or two ago that they will be cancelling all scheduled international flights, but that some would continue on an hoc basis to key destinations.

adk
adk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Apr 2013

Total posts 2

Unfortunately during transit recently in Doha, I was informed that the complimentary Oryx Hotel stay for long transit times was currently not possible due to the coronavirus restrictions. Otherwise most other airport facilities were open and accessible.

28 Mar 2020

Total posts 1

My brother-in-law and his wife came to Melbourne, Australia for a holiday, but their flight back to the UK has been cancelled. They have tried everything they can think of, to try and get home, with no luck. They've left their details with the UK and Australian consular, phoned different airlines, checked at the airport, contacted travel agents and generally done everything they can think of. Has anyone got any suggestions?

Etihad - Etihad Guest

22 Dec 2017

Total posts 4

@compingKaz - are you sure they checked Qatar Airways from Melbourne? ? I'm going back from Sydney to Europe with Qatar on the 31st march. Sadly, I changed my travel plans and go home.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

22 Dec 2017

Total posts 4

https://www.executivetraveller.com/news/qatar-airways-brisbane

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 231

I agree, give Qatar a go.
I've heard a few stories on the radio of how they've saved a number of people who have been left high and dry.

Plus they're the only folks crazy enough to be launching new routes during a crisis- talk about taking opperunity of a disaster.

29 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

We are stuck in Adelaide. We need to travel to Chennai, India. Our booking was with Malaysian airlines before they could cancel. We need to get back after the lick down in India is over by April 14th.

29 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

*lockdown

30 Mar 2020

Total posts 1

I think it is very cheap of Airlines like Singapore and Emirates to first carry Millions of Travellers to Places all over the Planet and than Stop bringing them back with such short notice. I am Talking mostly to People strandet in Europe that whant to go home to Oceanaia and the other Way arround. There would be ways to cope with safety in Dubai and Singapore if they whant to. A great THANK YOU to Qatar doeing exactly this right now. Pls all think of this next time you book a Ticket.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 113

Emirates was forced to stop flying because the UAE banned all passenger flights, it was not Emirates' choice. Singapore Airlines was pretty much in the same boat, the Singapore government banned all transit passengers at Changi Airport as well as all visitors to Singapore, and Singapore Airlines is mainly about connecting international flights at Changi Airport. Both of those government decisions were made with 48hrs notice. You really can't blame the airlines when it is the government which calls the shots.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

22 Dec 2017

Total posts 4

Well, Stefan - like for Etihad it was a government decision to ground the planes, I don't know how's about Emirates - who decided it. Qatar Airways are doing good business now, I mean REALY good business. Just for example, my ticket tomorrow, oneway in business class fr SYD to VIE costs Aus$ 7800. I bought it a week ago, three days ago it went to Aus$ 12000+. I don't complain. Cause the Qatar network is pretty much to only one which is running smoothly now, people have no other choice. And of course, next time stranded people should think about it which carrier they choose. There's always a business behind ;-)

NLF
NLF

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

16 Jun 2016

Total posts 16

As Emirates and Etihad both operate out of the UAE, you can safely say that Emirates' decision to stop was also based on government regulation. They had no choice either!

31 Mar 2020

Total posts 13

Could you mention KLM i need to fly SYD to LIS,

KLM offered a good flight but not on your list,

thankyou.

Hi Ozyjon, KLM doesn't fly to Australia, thus it's not on this list. Most Australians connecting onto KLM travel up to Asia on another airline first - you can find those airlines in the list.

Air Canada - Aeroplan

28 Feb 2015

Total posts 47

The Air Canada website isn't accurate (and isn't even the same depending on which info page you access). The website currently shows YVR to SYD as flying until 6 April then suspended until 30 April (BNE already suspended to 30 April) but SYD was suspended a few days ago until 31 May (my fmy flight was cancelled; I rebooked for early June and we shall see). MEL suspended to 31 May also.

04 May 2018

Total posts 30

Flight Radar 24. China Southern Airlines 325 and 321 that has been regularly flying from Guanghou to Sydney and Guanghou to Melbourne, Xiamen Airlines MF801 from Xiamen to Sydney and China Airlines from Shanghai to Sydney. I guess since the borders closed there are still many Australian Citizens, Residents etc returning from and/or through China back to aussie.

04 May 2018

Total posts 30

Previous is regular Air China CA 613 Shanghai to Sydney.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

19 Mar 2018

Total posts 61

SIN cannot be a gateway to Australia anymore.

Ever since HK lost it, SIN is too eager to takeover as Asia's world city (read: O&D is huge) and this has been pushing up visitorship too high that the airport was practically unable to cope. Tonnes of airline applications, no slots to give. There's simply no point in a 3 runway solution with Malaysia being an arse. (Seletar dispute is proxy for 3rd runway ops... Malaysia doesn't want to agree to this because it'd have to effectively shut down Johor Bahru's Senai airport. The capacity there is already limited due to Changi trafffc from South Asia, Mid East and Europe. China's nine dashed line and sovereignty benefits their pal, Singapore, and allows Changi to pack more flights from the northeast. CGK's holds start above Singapore island itself, especially just due east of Changi airport.). aka no bloody space.

04 May 2018

Total posts 30

Add Qantas to the list. QF129 Sydney Shanghai has started up again.

04 May 2018

Total posts 30

Can add KAL to the list

12 Feb 2013

Total posts 42

Some flights operated are certain suspended passenger flight numbers but carrying freight/cargo only and not carrying fare paying passenger or flight attendants. QF129 could be an example of that. Likewise some Cathay flights recently are also in that category.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 171

Thank you, Chris - a great heads up.

I currently have two (2) employees in Qatar I need to get home (1xBNE + 1xCPT). RSA has closed here borders, so we have a long haul stay in Qatar for the CPT Traveller.

As I read it today, 14 April, it is Qatar's last DOH-BNE Flight (QR912). Nothing looks to be available after this (Yes, on Google but No, on ticketing). Is this correct ET Family? Cheers! (& Thanks...hang in there everyone).

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 118

Hi BevanMcBevan. According to Expert Flyer, today (14 April) is the last QR912 from Doha to Brisbane for now. The flight doesn't show up in searches afterwards.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 171

Aha! Thanks, Brandon.

So much for the advertising of DOH-BNE-DOH being available through to end of April. It looks like it made it 2 weeks.

Hi,

It might be useful to note that transit can be possible threw Australia(maximum 8 hr if i understand) with an exemption: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/transiting-australia

 

Hi - I' stuck in Delhi/India - I'm the immediate family member, I need to go back to Australia before my current visa expires which is 10th of May 2020. Are there any flights flying from Delhi to Sydney before 10th of May, 2020. Please do let me know. What are my options. - much appreciated! Thank you.

04 May 2018

Total posts 30

From Delhi. Appears to be none

Thank you for getting back to me Jedi, I'm trying my luck, will see how it goes - Fingers Crossed !

04 May 2018

Total posts 30

All the best with it. Hope it works out. Will keep looking around and let you know if I see anything

Doesn't look like those repatriation flights are going ahead from the UK. Went in to book yesterday and they're not on the qantas site. Went to their facebook page and it looks like they've canceled due to some approval issues. I'm trying to get out of France and it's a bloody nightmare. Qatar might be the best bet from Geneva.

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 283

Well, there's currently a QF9 heading for LHR, currently over India. Presumably it'll be returning to PER before long.

QFF - Platinum

23 Mar 2016

Total posts 11

Assuming you can transit in KL ( need to check that ) Malaysia Airlines is still flying from LHR to KUL then to Syd, Mel or Perth on certain days


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