Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 September 2020

CORONAVIRUS

The first ever non-stop A380 flights from Australia to London are happening this week

With transit passengers suspended in Singapore, the Australian airline will fly directly from Australia to the UK

A Qantas A380 on the tarmac at London Heathrow. Qantas will fly direct from Australia to London in a bid to beat coronavirus restrictions on transit travel in Singapore. Courtesy flickr 
A Qantas A380 on the tarmac at London Heathrow. Qantas will fly direct from Australia to London in a bid to beat coronavirus restrictions on transit travel in Singapore. Courtesy flickr 

Australian airline Qantas will fly the first-ever non-stop A380 service from Australia to the UK in a move to work around coronavirus travel restrictions. The route will run from Darwin to London.

One of Qantas’ most popular routes is its Sydney-Singapore-London flight, but from March 23, Singapore has suspended entry for short-term visitors and transit passengers, rendering Qantas' Kangaroo flight path non-viable.

To get around this, the airline plans to make the journey from Sydney, via Darwin in northern Australia. From there, it will continue directly to the UK with an expected flight time of 16 hours and 45 minutes.

Qantas already fly from Australia to London non-stop, but the Perth to Heathrow service is operated via a Boeing 878-9.

According to Airline Route, the last Qantas flight to depart Australia bound for London is scheduled to depart Sydney on that day. It will fly to Darwin to refuel, but passengers will remain on board the aircraft. It will then fly 9,266 miles (14,912 km) to London Heathrow.

The return journey will be one of Qantas' last international flights before it grounds all passenger flights at the end of the month. It will leave London on Friday March 27 and will also stop in Darwin on its way back to Sydney.

The skies on March 25 versus February 25:

Travellers on this flight have a slightly longer trip before them with a flight time of 17 hours and 50 mins.

The longest A380 flight in operation

On March 23, Singapore authorities suspended entry at Changi International Airport for short-term visitors and transit passengers.
On March 23, Singapore authorities suspended entry at Changi International Airport for short-term visitors and transit passengers.

The trip will be the longest scheduled A380 flight currently in operation.

Emirates' Auckland to Dubai service typically holds this title – but that flight was suspended on Tuesday after UAE authorities announced a two-week flight suspension for passenger air travel.

Travel restrictions, flight suspensions and country lockdowns put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 over the last few weeks have forced airlines to cancel, suspend and modify flight routes.

Singapore's significant tightening of restrictions on those who can enter or transit via Singapore has had a major impact on flights operating in and out of the country. Several other nations, 38 at last count, have taken this step even further, grounding all passengers flights operating in and out of the country.

Updated: March 25, 2020 12:49 PM

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