For what seemed to be the longest time Singapore was considered the default stopover for Australian travellers headed to Europe, due to Qantas adopting the Lion city as its pit-stop for London flights.
But with the Red Roo's stopover shifting to Dubai, and increased competition from international airlines, more and more Australians are looking at their stopover alternatives – and discovering they're almost spoilt for choice.
With our round-the-world trip for two contest with Star Alliance in mind, we've put together a selection of ways to trek from Australia to Europe – some are very straightforward, others more creative, but they're all going to give you a great mid-trip break when travelling on the Star Alliance network.
Europe via Singapore
Singapore Airlines flies from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to the airline’s hub in the Lion City.
After spending a week or even just a few hours in Singapore, travellers can jump on non-stop flights to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Rome and Zurich.
Seasonally, Singapore Airlines also includes Athens in its non-stop network, providing the most efficient connection option for Australian Star Alliance travellers.
Lufthansa, Swiss and Turkish Airlines also fly from Singapore to their respective hubs in Frankfurt, Zurich and Istanbul, with onward connections available to other destinations.
Europe via Thailand
Out of its hub in Bangkok, Thai Airways serves Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth with its fleet of Boeing 747, Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft.
From these Australian cities, it’s just one stop to Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Rome, Stockholm and Zurich.
Thai Airways also provides Star Alliance's only single-stop option from Australia to the Norwegian capital of Oslo.
Direct flights to Istanbul, London and Vienna are also possible on Turkish Airlines, EVA Air and Austrian Airlines, while Lufthansa and Swiss again offer flights to their hub cities.
Europe via China
Flying from Sydney to Beijing and from both Sydney and Melbourne to Shanghai, Air China provides travellers with yet another option for European travel.
Out of its main Beijing hub, passengers can fly non-stop to Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Rome, Stockholm and Vienna.
Air China is also the only Star Alliance member to offer a single stop between Australia and the Swiss city of Geneva.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Swiss and Turkish Airlines add Copenhagen, Zurich and Istanbul to the Beijing Star Alliance route map, while Austrian Airlines duplicates Air China’s route to Vienna.
A smaller subset of cities can be reached from Shanghai for Melbourne-based travellers, including Frankfurt, Milan, Munich and Paris on Air China, and Copenhagen, Istanbul and Zurich on SAS, Turkish Airlines and Swiss.
From both Chinese cities, Lufthansa also jets to Frankfurt and Munich, with Airbus A380 aircraft running on some flights.
Europe via South Korea, Taiwan
Star Alliance member Asiana Airlines flies from Sydney to its home base in Seoul, where customers can connect onwards to Frankfurt, Istanbul, London and Paris.
Likewise, Turkish Airlines flies non-stop from Seoul to Istanbul, with onward connections possible to a raft of European destinations.
Brisbane-based travellers also reach Paris as a single-stop journey through Taipei with EVA Air.
Europe via South Africa
Perth residents can opt for a South African transit or stopover on the way to Europe, with South African Airways serving the Australian mining capital from Johannesburg.
Onward destinations include Frankfurt, London and Munich on SAA, Zurich on Swiss, Istanbul on Turkish Airlines and also Frankfurt with Lufthansa.
Europe via North America
If a skiing stopover in Canada takes your fancy, why not fly from Sydney to Vancouver with Air Canada?
The legendary slopes of Whistler aren’t far by car, and when you’re ready to fly onwards, Air Canada flies directly to London Heathrow.
Lufthansa also serves Vancouver from its Frankfurt hub, while direct flights between Vancouver and Munich run seasonally in line with demand.
Further south, United Airlines flies from Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles, along with San Francisco directly from Sydney.
From both American hub cities, Star Alliance passengers can fly non-stop to London Heathrow with United, or to Zurich on Swiss.
San Francisco also boasts Copenhagen flights on SAS, while Air New Zealand and Turkish Airlines reach London and Istanbul from Los Angeles.
If you simply can’t decide which city to visit, you can always combine all of these cities into a Star Alliance round-the-world fare.
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