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Qantas Plans To Move Nonstop London Flights To Darwin

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Qantas has outlined plans for the resumption of international flights from December, with the UK and US likely to be among the first destinations, and the possibility raised of a switch in nonstop London services to Darwin.

Under the plans, destinations including Singapore, the United States, Japan, the UK, and Canada – which are “likely to be classed as low-risk countries for vaccinated travellers to visit and return from under reduced quarantine requirements” due to their high vaccination levels – will see flights resume from mid-December.

Initially, flights will be served by B787 Dreamliner and A330 aircraft (B737s and A320s for Fiji), but Qantas is targeting the return of five A380 superjumbos from mid-2022, serving Sydney-LA from July next year, and Sydney-Singapore-London from November 2022.

Flights between Australia and New Zealand are also expected to resume from mid-December “on the assumption some or all parts of the two-way bubble will restart”. The agreement is currently suspended due to rising cases of Covid-19 in Australia.

Qantas also said that it was investigating using Darwin (which has been its main entry point for repatriation flights during Covid-19) as a transit point for its nonstop services from London. The carrier said that this could be “as an alternative (or in addition) to its existing Perth hub given conservative border policies in Western Australia”.

The airline launched nonstop London-Perth flights in 2018, and said that its “ability to fly nonstop between Australia and London is expected to be in even higher demand post-Covid”.

Flights to Hong Kong are expected to resume in February, but destinations including Bali, Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City, and Johannesburg – which “still have low vaccine rates and high levels of Covid infection” – will not resume until April 2022.