British Airways scraps London to Sydney flights by Christmas 2020

Just weeks after British Airways announced they had replaced CEO Alex Cruz with previous Aer Lingus boss Sean Doyle, the international airline has announced a big change that will impact Aussies hoping to get home for Christmas.

The airline said it will not be relaunching flights between London and Sydney before the end of the year, a route that was one of 50 removed due to the UK entering a second nationwide lockdown.

With many Australians still trapped abroad because of the pandemic, and our capped restrictions on overseas travellers entering the country, the decision for BA to scrap plans to resume flights Down Under is a big blow for residents hoping to spend get home for Christmas.

The airline first cancelled its service to Sydney, which goes via Singapore, in April but there was hope the route would be relaunched next month.

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British Airways will likely relaunch flights to Sydney in 2021. Picture: Ben Stansall/AFPSource:AFP

According to reports, a new January relaunch date is expected, following hopes that leisure travel will start to make a return in the new year.

“Policies are in place to ensure maximum flexibility for our customers,” Mark Muren, BA’s head of global sales, told Executive Traveller .

“If a flight is cancelled, customers will be entitled to a refund as per our standard customer guidelines. Our ‘Book with Confidence’ policy continues to offer the ability to change a flight, date or destination or request a voucher for future travel.”

Australia’s ‘arrival cap’ restrictions, which were put in place by the Federal Government to limit the number of Australians who could fly home at any one time, were introduced in July to ensure there wasn’t an overflow of guests at government quarantine facilities.

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British Airways says it will not relaunch flights to Sydney this year. Picture: Adrian Dennis/AFPSource:AFP

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in September that the Human Biosecurity Emergency Period declared under the Biosecurity Act 2015 would run for an additional three months, meaning that the international border closure – which has been in place since March 18 – will now continue until December 17, 2020.

The order essentially permits the Government to impose restrictions on overseas travel, restrictions on the entry of cruise ships into Australia as well as protections for the supply and sale of certain essential goods and restrictions on retail stores at international airports.

Mr Morrison has long emphasised that it was “unlikely” that Australia’s borders will open by Christmas, although stressed that he had been in discussion with other countries – such as New Zealand, Japan and Singapore for mutual travel bubbles arrangements.

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