With Singapore blocked off, Qantas is getting creative with its London service, bypassing other countries all together in favor of a technical stop at a historic Australian airport.
Nonstop Service…From Darwin To London Heathrow
Qantas 1/2, its flagship nonstop service between Sydney and London, typically stops in Singapore in each direction. This is not only to pick up and drop off passengers, but because the A380 cannot complete the flight nonstop.
But among the aggressive steps Singapore has taken to combat COVID-19, transit passengers are no longer allowed. With Qantas shut out of Singapore, it had to get creative.
Darwin (DRW), a historic airport in Australia’s Northern Territory opened in 1919 and used as as a strategic launch point in World War II, will temporarily serve as the refueling point.
QF1 Sydney to Darwin dep 5:00PM arr 9:15PM
QF1 Darwin to London dep 11:00PM arr 6:15AM+1
QF2 London to Darwin dep 10:05PM arr 11:45PM+1
QF2 Darwin to Sydney dep 1:15AM+2 arr 7:00AM+2
The journey from Sydney to Darwin is 1,957 miles and from Darwin to London is 8,620 miles. Qantas will not sell service on the domestic sectors alone.
If you’re hoping to try this once everything calms down, Qantas will suspend all international service later this week and likely return to Singapore when service resumes again. The last westbound service will be March 26th and last eastbound service on March 27th.
Darwin once again finds itself in use as a wartime airport. Heavily used during the Pacific campaign of World War II, Darwin is now used to fight a more invisible enemy, allowing the repatriation of citizens as global air traffic continues to dwindle.
(H/T: One Mile at a Time)