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New London-Sydney flight gets passengers to Australia even quicker



New London-Sydney flight gets passengers to Australia even quicker

Want a fast flight from London to Sydney? Don’t start at Heathrow.

That’s the message from an exclusive survey of flight times conducted by The Independent. It coincides with a new ultra-fast link between the two cities – cutting the time to just 21 hours and 40 minutes.

The Singapore Airlines link from Gatwick will slice half-an-hour from the existing fastest flight time of 22h10m, which is on Emirates from Stansted.

The Independent has studied the fastest links on all the UK airports with one-stop connections to Sydney for Saturday 22 June – the day Singapore Airlines starts flying from Gatwick for the first time.

With a transfer time of just 55 minutes in Singapore, it represents the fastest journey since the Russian invasion of Ukraine extended trips. The most direct route from London to Sydney involves hours of flying over Russian territory and passes overhead Hong Kong. With the airspace closed to most airlines, planes must follow a much longer track.

Third-fastest also goes to Gatwick, with the morning flight on Emirates via Dubai connecting for Sydney in a total of 22h15m

Heathrow makes an appearance in fourth place, with a flight time of 22h30m on Singapore Airlines.

This is a tie with the journey time from three other UK airports: Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.

All come in joint fourth with 22h30m on Emirates via Dubai. The Glasgow time, with a 70-minute connection, is particularly impressive because the Scottish airport is 228 miles further from Dubai than is Gatwick.

Next fastest: 22h35m on Emirates from Gatwick: departs 2.30pm, arrives 10.05pm next day. Connection in Dubai: 95 minutes.

To round off the table: another Gatwick flight, on China Southern via Guangzhou, is scheduled to take 22h40m.

The two airlines that fly direct from London to Sydney, ie without a change of plane, are significantly slower. British Airways is scheduled to take 23 hours while Qantas is 25 minutes slower.

Bargain hunters will need to be patient. On Skyscanner, the cheapest one-way flight is £616 on China Eastern from Gatwick, with a wait of almost eight hours in Shanghai.

Flights back from Sydney to the UK are slower because of prevailing winds. Singapore Airlines wins again with a time of 22h40m – but to Heathrow, not Gatwick. This has the shortest connection of any link studied, just 50 minutes at the South East Asian hub.

The only other flights to make it back to the UK in under 24 hours are both on Emirates: to Manchester (23h50m) and Newcastle (23h55m).

From the winter schedules, overall flight times will get even quicker – with Emirates from Stansted via Dubai coming in at 21h25m thanks to a swift one-hour connection in Dubai. The Singapore Airlines link from Gatwick is five minutes faster than now, with just 50 minutes between flights.

Qantas is planning nonstop flights between London Heathrow and Sydney from “mid-2026”, using a specially configured Airbus A350 jet. The journey is likely to take around 20 hours, though if Russian airspace opens up it could be an hour quicker.

The Australian airline has been flying nonstop from Heathrow to Perth since 2018, with a pause during the pandemic – with some nonstop flights serving Darwin instead while Western Australia remained closed.

Top 6 London–Sydney flights departing on Saturday 22 June 2024

21h40m Singapore Airlines from Gatwick: departs 10.15am, arrives 4.55pm next day. Connection in Singapore: 55 minutes.

22h10m Emirates from Stansted: departs 2.55pm, arrives 5.20pm next day. Connection in Dubai: 75 minutes.

22h15m Emirates from Gatwick: departs 9am, arrives 10.05pm next day. Connection in Dubai: 90 minutes.

22h30m Singapore Airlines from Heathrow: departs 9.25am, arrives 4.55pm next day. Connection in Singapore: 105 minutes.

22h35m Emirates from Gatwick: departs 2.30pm, arrives 10.05pm next day. Connection in Dubai: 95 minutes.

22h40 China Southern from Gatwick: departs 12 noon, arrives 7.40pm next day. Connection in Guangzhou: 85 minutes.

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