Seven one-stop Star Alliance routes to Europe from Australia

By Chris C., May 30 2014
Seven one-stop Star Alliance routes to Europe from Australia

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.

Several of those flights now feature the airline's latest first class and business class (seen below) on its new Boeing 777-300ER jets.

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.

Business class on Air Canada's Boeing 777s
Business class on Air Canada's Boeing 777s

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.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Dec 2012

Total posts 66


Are you not forgetting a few?

You've got SIN & BKK  - but what about KUL for SE Asia?

Then for North Asia you have TPE, ICN, PEK & PVG. But what about HKG? (or NRT, though Im not sure JL fly many routes to Europe)

You've also missed the obvious Middle East stop-overs of DXB, AUH & DOH.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Dec 2012

Total posts 66

Strike that...

I just saw (after already reading it again) that the topic was Star Alliance...

Sorry... :(

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 444

Sorry to do an Alvin-style post...

But one stop to LHR from PER (a city of 1.95million (by no means huge)) we have:


Pretty damn impressive for a city that is often the forgotten child....

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

Sorry to do an Alvin-style post...

I'm tempted to take that as a compliment...

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1245

Great reference post Chris.  Will you also do one for oneworld?

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 467

Good Variety.I know there is the hassle of having to get a Visa to go through America but how many of us would rather on the way to or from Europe would rather visit Disneyland,Knotts Berry Farm,Rodeo Drove and Beverly Hills plus Universal Studios in LA than have to deal THE Usual Asian Stopovers.Given a Choice and the Chance to do a London Trip again I would take the USA option everytime over Singapore or China.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Mar 2014

Total posts 73

Australians can stop in the USA as part of the visa waiver program so no visa needed if it is for tourism

08 Mar 2013

Total posts 28

You can add India (Delhi) to that list soon as well. Once Air India get their act together and finally join Star Alliance

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 580

It's not exactly one-stop but Air New Zealand is another potential carrier to LHR via LAX.

If departing from OOL or MCY (which NZ serves), in terms of stops it's no different to transitting via SYD or MEL except that it'd be on a non-Star Alliance carrier for the leg to SYD/MEL.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1518

Singapore transit was the best is the best and will be the best. Pity that Qantas abandoned Lion City. Bangkok is OK, though airport there is way too long to my liking. All other transits mean longer time in the air. Dubai is worst on my list - one has to fly via Singapore to Dubai to get good connection (heck! why I have to fly to Dubai if I am already in Singapore???) or wait in Dubai pretty long in very inconvenient time or bear very odd arriving/departure to/from your destination. IMHO Qantas made mistake when they befriend Emirates - BA IMHO was way better proposition.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2204

I definitely agree that SIN is one of the best, if not the best, stopover point - it's up there with HKG.

SIN was a good scissor hub; while there are lots of SQ-friendly carriers there, there are also a few hostile European carriers besides BA flying there, like KLM and Air France, which if codeshared would have offered more one-stops to Europe.

I think it's a shame that Qantas Group (QF/JQ/3K) tried to make the SIN hub work, but then just gave up - the shift to Jetstar nonstops ex-AU, the shift of the Kangaroo stopover to DXB, trying to force a Jetstar HK, etc. - because the one thing they lack is a consolidated hub, and the best place for that is SIN.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 467

You can't beat Singapore to be honest.The Friendliness of the Place,Overall Safety and Excellent Sightseeing are a winner in my book.I am not a parent who travels with kids but ask anyone who has done the Europe Trip which is the best place to have a mini break in either direction and you will get the answer of SIN.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1518

Yep, swimming pool on the roof of Singapore terminal awaiting for you.

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