Where Can You Fly? | COVID-19 Edition – International

With COVID-19, travel has come to a grinding halt. Australians are not permitted to travel overseas from Australia and there have been significant limits placed on domestic travel as well. As a result, most of the regular passenger flights that fly into Sydney have been cancelled.

Whilst some cancelled flights may not matter to those of us at home, for Australians stuck overseas, it has become a nightmare to get home. There are now just 10 commercial international flights that are still flying into Sydney. Most of these flights operate on a less than daily basis, but they generally operate at least twice a week.

Map of remaining international flights to Sydney as of 15 April 2020 – GC Mapper

Qatar Airways is maintaining their daily QR908/909 service from their Doha hub. Passengers from nearly 70 destinations can still connect at Doha onto QR908 to Sydney, although you can’t leave the terminal due to a ban on foreign arrivals. This is the best option for passengers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa due to the ease of connections and availability of flights with Qatar.

Malaysia Airlines is operating a twice weekly MH122/123 service from their Kuala Lumpur hub. You can still transit via KL, however Malaysia Airlines has cancelled most of their flights and as such limited options are available. You can connect to KLM flights to Amsterdam at KL on a combined Malaysia Airlines-KLM ticket.

Singapore Airlines is operating at least twice weekly on their SQ211/232 service from their Singapore hub. Australians cannot transit in Singapore as all transit passengers have been banned from Singapore. These flights are only for Australians returning home from Singapore or Singaporeans returning to Singapore.

Garuda Indonesia is operating a once weekly GA712/713 service from their Jakata Hub. Australians cannot transit in Indonesia as all transit passengers have been banned from Indonesia. These flights are only for Australians returning home from Indonesia or Indonesians returning to Indonesia.

Cathay Pacific is maintaining a trice weekly CX100/101 service from their Hong Kong hub. Australians cannot transit in Hong Kong as all transit passengers have been banned from   Hong Kong. These flights are only for Australians returning home from Hong Kong or Hong Kongers returning to Hong Kong.

China Airlines is maintaining a twice weekly CI51/52 service from their Taipei hub. Australians cannot transit in Taipei as all transit passengers have been banned from   Taipei. These flights are only for Australians returning home from Taipei or Taiwanese returning to Taipei. 

All Nippon Airways is continuing to operate three to four times weekly on its NH879/880 service from their Tokyo Haneda hub. Passengers can still transit via Tokyo Haneda, however ANA has significantly reduced their network. Options exist for connections from the US and Europe.

United Airlines is still operating their daily UA863/870 service from their San Francisco hub. You can still connect from domestic US flights onto the service to Sydney, with United offering transit from all major American cities. Passengers can transit from overseas where that country has not been restricted from transit by US officials.

LATAM is maintaining its four times weekly LA800/801 service from their Santiago hub via Auckland. Australians can still connect from throughout South America onto LATAM flights in Santiago. LATAM has special dispensation to allow for passengers to transit through New Zealand on this flight, as otherwise New Zealand have banned transit passengers.

Air New Zealand is still operating their three times weekly NZ103/104 service from their Auckland hub. Australians cannot transit in New Zealand as all transit passengers have been banned from New Zealand. These flights are only for Australians returning home from New Zealand or New Zealanders returning to New Zealand. 

Australians can obviously return home easily by commercial means if they happen to be in one of the 10 destinations with service to Sydney. For those who aren’t in one of these 10 cities, Qatar Airways via Doha, ANA via Tokyo Haneda, United via San Francisco and LATAM via Santiago are the best options. This is because they are the only four places where you can still connect onto a flight to Sydney as a transit passenger.

Where Can You Fly? – A350

For our final edition of “Where Can You Fly?,” I was asked to do a post on all the different places you can fly the A350 from Sydney.

The two airlines who either fly or have announced A350 flights to Sydney are Cathay Pacific and China Airlines. Cathay Pacific will bring the larger A350-1000 to Sydney daily from August 2018 whilst China Airlines has been flying the smaller A350-900 twice daily since December 2017.


Here is where you can fly;

  • Hong Kong – Cathay Pacific
  • Taipei – China Airlines

The A350 has been one of the most popular passenger plane order choices for long haul flights over the past few years. This will eventually lead to more A350 carriers in Sydney. Qantas is even considering purchasing and basing A350s in Sydney, with Airbus’s demo model visiting back in February.

I really hope you have enjoyed the “Where Can You Fly?” segments! If you would like to see the return of “Where Can You Fly?” or perhaps have an idea for a different segment, please let us know, we love to hear your ideas and thoughts.

Where Can You Fly? – Qantas International

As requested, this week we will be looking at all the places you can fly Qantas internationally from their main hub here in Sydney.

Qantas has been flying internationally from Sydney since the late 1930s, with flights to Singapore via Darwin and to Auckland. Over time it expanded, contracted and then again expanded its network of international destinations. Round the world flights from Sydney operated through the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Today, Qantas flies to 24 international destinations across all the inhabited continents from Sydney. These flights vary in their frequency from 3 weekly during peak season only to more than 5 daily flights.


The destinations and aircraft that fly there are listed below.

  • Auckland – A330, 737
  • Bangkok – A330
  • Beijing – A330
  • Christchurch – 737
  • Dallas-Fort Worth – A380
  • Denpasar – 737
  • Hong Kong – A330, A380, 747
  • Honolulu – A330
  • Jakarta – A330
  • Johannesburg – 747
  • London (via Singapore) – A380
  • Los Angeles – A380, 747
  • Manila – A330
  • New York JFK (via Los Angeles) – 747
  • Noumea – 737
  • Osaka – A330
  • Queenstown – 737
  • San Francisco – 747
  • Santiago – 747
  • Shanghai Pudong – A330
  • Singapore – A330, A380
  • Tokyo Haneda – 747
  • Vancouver – 747
  • Wellington – 737

Where Can You Fly? – South East Asia

Today we are looking at Where You Can Fly in South East Asia.

There are 10 different destinations across 7 different countries that you can fly to in South East Asia from Sydney. 15 different airlines service flights including AirAsia X, Air Niugini, British Airways, Cebu Pacific, Emirates, Garuda Indonesia, Jetstar, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Scoot, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines and Virgin Australia.

The airlines all use a variety of planes on the routes. Narrowbody 737 aircraft make a showing on selected flights to Denpasar, however mostly all flights are on widebody aircraft. Notable models include Emirates A380s to Bangkok, Malaysia Airlines A380s to Kuala Lumpur, Qantas A380s to Singapore, Singapore Airlines A380s to Singapore and Thai Airways 747s to Bangkok. Other flights are typically operated by either a 777, 787 or A330.


Destinations include;

  • Bangkok – Emirates, Qantas, Thai Airways
  • Denpasar – Garuda Indonesia, Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia
  • Hanoi – Vietnam Airlines
  • Ho Chi Minh City – Jetstar, Vietnam Airlines
  • Jakarta – Garuda Indonesia, Qantas
  • Kuala Lumpur – AirAsia X, Malaysia Airlines
  • Manila – Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Qantas
  • Phuket – Jetstar
  • Port Moresby – Air Niugini
  • Singapore – British Airways,  Qantas, Scoot, Singapore Airlines

Where Can You Fly? – Boeing 747

In this edition of Where Can You Fly, we take a look at all the places you can fly on the 747 from Sydney.


Once the Queen of the Skies, today the 747 is becoming a rarity at airports around the world, with more A380s in service than 747s. Despite this, 3 operators still operate 747s out of Sydney, providing service to 9 destinations.

PanAm’s Clipper Flying Cloud (N734PA) was the first 747 to arrive in Sydney on 4 October 1970, marking the start of a new era for Sydney’s aviation market. The first Qantas 747 to be based in Sydney arrived soon after in September 1971. The longest ever 747 flight arrived in Sydney from London 17 August 1989, operated by Qantas’s new 747-400 VH-OJA. At the peak of operation, more than 10 airlines operated 747s into Sydney, serving dozens of destinations.

Today, only Qantas, Thai Airways and Korean Air operate 747s into Sydney. Qantas and Thai Airways both operate the popular but ageing 747-400, whilst Korean Air operates the newer but extremely rare 747-800. Qantas has a base for 8 of its 747s in Sydney.

The routes served are;

  • Bangkok – Thai Airways
  • Hong Kong – Qantas
  • Johannesberg – Qantas
  • Los Angeles – Qantas
  • New York – Qantas
  • Santiago – Qantas
  • San Francisco – Qantas
  • Seoul – Korean Air
  • Tokyo Haneda – Qantas
  • Vancouver – Qantas

Where Can You Fly? – New Zealand

Today we are looking at all of the places you can fly to in New Zealand from Sydney.

There are four destinations in New Zealand that you can fly to direct from Sydney. Six airlines operate flights including Air New Zealand, Emirates, Jetstar, LATAM, Qantas and Virgin Australia.

On routes to and from Auckland, Air New Zealand, Emirates, LATAM and Qantas use widebody aircraft, including the A380 by Emirates, 787 by AirNZ and LATAM and the A330 by Qantas. Emirates also uses the A380 on its flights to Christchurch. All other flights are operated by narrowbody aircraft such as the A320 or 737.

Routes between Sydney and New Zealand

The routes flown are;

  • Auckland – Air New Zealand, Emirates, Jetstar, LATAM, Qantas, Virgin Australia.
  • Christchurch – Air New Zealand, Emirates, Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia.
  • Queenstown – Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia.
  • Wellington – Air New Zealand,  Qantas


Where Can You Fly? – A380

In today’s edition of Where Can You Fly?, we will be looking at all the different places you can fly from Sydney on the A380.


There are 14 different places that you can fly to on the A380 out of Sydney. This includes services on 9 different airlines. Asiana, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar and Singapore Airlines all bring their A380s to Sydney.

The inaugural passenger service of the A380 was operated by Singapore Airlines and touched down in Sydney on 27 October 2007 from Singapore becoming the world’s first A380 route. Since then, Sydney has grown to become one of the largest A380 hubs in the world. It is home to the base of 8 Qantas A380s, a major focus city for Emirates A380s and has more airlines using A380s than any other airport.

Where you can fly on the A380;

  • Abu Dhabi – Etihad
  • Auckland – Emirates
  • Bangkok – Emirates
  • Christchurch – Emirates
  • Dallas Fort Worth – Qantas
  • Doha – Qatar
  • Duabi – Emirates
  • Guangzhou – China Southern
  • Hong Kong – Qantas
  • Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia Airlines
  • London – Qantas (via Singapore)
  • Los Angeles – Qantas
  • Seoul – Asiana, Korean Air
  • Singapore – Qantas, Singapore Airlines


Where Can You Fly? – USA

This edition of Where Can You Fly, we are looking at all the US routes out of Sydney.

The US is one one of the most popular destinations out of Sydney, with loads of both Aussies and Americans traveling between the two everyday.

There is a long history of direct flights to the US from Sydney, staring with Qantas original Sydney – Honolulu – San Francisco flights on the 707 back in the 1960s, moving forward to direct flights to the 48 contiguous states on the 747 in the 1980s, through to the network we see today.

You can fly direct between 5 US cities in three different states. Onwards same plane connections exist to a sixth.  the most popular route is to LA, with nearly 40 weekly flights.

American Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, Qantas, Virgin Australia and United all fly between Sydney and the US, with Qantas undoubtedly being the largest carrier controlling 2/3 of the Sydney-US market, followed by United which has around 20% of the market.

Qantas flies a mix of A380 and 747 aircraft between Sydney and the US. Both American and United use 787 aircraft, whilst Delta and Virgin Australia offer the 777.

Routes from Sydney to the US

The routes are;

  • Dallas Fort Worth – Qantas
  • Honolulu – Hawaiian, Qantas
  • Houston – United
  • Los Angeles – American Airlines, Delta, Qantas, Virgin Australia, United
  • New York JFK – Qantas (same plane via LAX)
  • San Francisco – Qantas, United

Where Can You Fly? – China

We are starting a new segment here at Transport NSW Blog, looking at all of the places you can fly from Sydney Airport. Today we are looking at China.

You can fly to 19 cities in China from Sydney, more than any other non-Chinese city. This shows the staggering demand for flights from Sydney to China.

A majority of the passengers are from China, which makes sense since 16 of the cities are only served by Chinese carriers.

A total of 10 carriers serve routes between Sydney and China, with most routes only being served by one or two carriers due to China’s One Airline policy. The largest carriers between Sydney and China are Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan Airlines and Qantas.

Most flights are operated by Airbus A330 aircraft, due to their medium size and relatively long range. Due to high demand, some routes are served by larger planes. China Eastern operates the 777 on its route to Shanghai and China Southern operates the A380 on its route to Guangzhou.

Routes from Sydney to China


The routes served are;

  • Beijing – Air China, China Eastern, Qantas
  • Changsha – Hainan Airlines
  • Chengdu – Air China
  • Chongqing – Sichuan Airlines
  • Fuzhou – Xiamen Airlines
  • Guangzhou – China Southern
  • Haikou – Hainan
  • Hangzhou – China Eastern
  • Hong Kong – Cathay Pacific, Qantas
  • Kunming – China Eastern
  • Nanjing – China Eastern
  • Qingdao – Beijing Capital
  • Shanghai – Air China, China Eastern, Qantas
  • Shenzhen – China Southern
  • Tianjin – Tianjin Airlines
  • Wuhan – China Eastern
  • Xi’an – Hainan Airlines
  • Xiamen – Xiamen Airlines
  • Zhengzhou – Tianjin Airlines