Qantas London flights will continue going through Darwin
Western Australian delays mean the Perth flight route is being delayed again.
Qantas has confirmed its Sydney-London and Melbourne-London flights are going to continue operating through Darwin for at least the first half of this year.
The decision isn't surprising, given Western Australia is yet to commit to a firm date for opening up its borders.
When Qantas restarted flights to the UK last year, it abandoned its established routings of Sydney-Singapore-London (using an A380) and Melbourne-Perth-London (using a 787 Dreamliner).
Instead, both routes were sent through Darwin and then direct to London, using the 787.
Qantas had planned to start flying through Perth again in April, but the WA government's abandonment of its original plan to open up WA borders in March made that plan impractical.
Qantas said the change was due to "ongoing uncertainty around the reopening of the West Australian border and testing requirements for passengers transiting through Singapore".
It says London flights from Melbourne will be routed through Darwin until "at least June 2022".
Sydney flights will also continue to go through Darwin until June 2022.
Interestingly, Qantas didn't use the "at least" phrasing for Sydney, hinting that Singapore arrangements might get sorted a little sooner.
"The work of the NT Chief Minister and his team, and the cooperation of Darwin Airport, have made running and now extending this service possible," Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said. "Because of their help, flying between Australia and London has been a lot easier than it might have been otherwise."
I'm planning to fly to the UK myself at the beginning of June. So it's not clear yet whether I'll be going through Darwin or Singapore. But I'm okay with either option. In the meantime, I'm having to restrain myself from going overboard in the current Qantas sale, which has some solid bargains.
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Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more.