Every year hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers travel from the UK to Australia. Because of close links between the countries air traffic back and forth between the two countries and continents remains steadfastly high. When making the trip from the UK one of the biggest decisions is where to stopover. The three main routes from the UK are via the US almost certainly involving a touchdown at LAX (Los Angeles International), a stop in Dubai or a stopover via South East Asia (with various options available). When flying from London to Sydney options abound with stopovers available 1 stop in interesting cities such as Seoul (South Korea) or Johannesburg (South Africa). Going further afield super-cities such as Tokyo are on offer which helps acclimatise travellers to the Australian time zones as Tokyo is just 1hrs time difference from Sydney.
The traditional cartel of BA/Qantas is now challenged by a number of new middle eastern airlines routing flights through their new efficient, green and sumptuous hub airports avoiding the dreaded Heathrow completely. These are namely Etihad (hubbed in Abu Dhabi) and Emirates (hubbed in Dubai). With Emirates offering direct flights into Dubai from several smaller UK airports including Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham they have dragged traffic away from traditional US and South East Asia flight routes. With their recent link up with Qantas they have bounced BA further out of the market and are slowly taking control of the vast majority of UK to Australia passenger traffic. South East Asia continues to offer the most interesting stopover options but for ease and luxury the middle east now wins hands down.
With renewed talk of direct routes between London and Sydney this fight may take another interesting twist with both BA and Virgin investigating the possibility of direct flights. With the chance to shave only 3-4 hours maximum from the overall London-Sydney flight time it remains to be seen as to whether the appetite for such a route is there.