Tue. May 17th, 2022

Sydney-Darwin-London the route is to begin on 14 November, and Melbourne-Darwin-London, instead of the Singapore leg, will follow suit on 18 December.
Qantan's plane takes off
Qantas has confirmed that the route Australia to London will go via Darwin when flights resume in November. (Qantas)

Sydney will have five flights a week departing at 6.30pm before landing in Darwin at 21.25 for a short petrol stop ahead of the 13,800km direct journey to London Heathrow Airport which takes 17 hours and 20 minutes.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce announced the new routes after reaching an agreement with the NT government.

“The kangaroo route is one of the most iconic on Qanta’s international network, and we are delighted that Darwin will play a crucial role in Australia’s post-pandemic reopening the world,” Joyce said in a press release on Friday night. .

“Qantas has flown repatriation services from London to Darwin as part of the airline’s efforts to help bring the Australians home over the last 12 months, so our pilots already have extensive experience operating this particular route.”

NT Prime Minister Michael Gunner described the deal as a huge blessing for the state.

The second repatriation flight with 165 Australians has landed in Darwin from India
NT Prime Minister Michael Gunner described the deal as a huge blessing for the state. (Today)

“Darwin is the comeback capital of Australia and now we are taking the comeback directly to Europe,” Gunner said in the announcement.

“From Parap to Piccadilly, the possibilities are endless. The convenience of this route will mean entering completely new markets for tourism and business.

“It will also open up new opportunities for the development of the aviation skills sector here in the Northern Territory.

“I thank Qantas and Darwin International Airport for working with us to make this direct route a reality, which will mark a real turning point for the nation as we work towards the next stages of the national plan.”

Talks about Qantas changing their route between Australia and London via Darwin have been underway since August as the country came closer to the return of international travel.

The flying kangaroo flew two of their last commercial flights from Sydney to London via Darwin in March 2020, just after lockdowns first disrupted both Singapore and Perth opportunities.

However, the route is not entirely new – Darwin was also part of the original 1947 Kangaroo route between London and Sydney. This journey took four days to reach the UK with stops after Darwin, including Singapore, Calcutta, Karachi, Bahrain, Cairo and Castel Benito, before landing in London.

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