UK-based Australians scrambling to return home were dealt a new blow with British Airways seemingly cancelling all flights after 6 April, according to its booking engine.
With Qantas halting all flights at the end of March, it means Qatar will soon be the only airline operating the so-called Kangaroo route.
The news comes despite British Airways continuing to stop over at Singapore, after reaching an agreement with Changi Airport.
The Australian government has previously promised to work with Qantas to lay on a handful of additional flights, though none have yet been confirmed.
Last week, Australian Aviation reported that Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports would suspend all passenger flights, including transfers, from 25 March.
However, the decision from the United Arab Emirates was followed hours later by news that Etihad would, effective immediately, stop passengers flying if they weren’t UAE residents.
Singapore made a similar decision to stop transfers through Changi Airport, effective from 23 March. The three airports are some of the most popular for passengers flying from Europe, where many Australians live or are travelling.
British Airways was uniquely granted permission to land for fuel in Singapore, but without giving passengers the chance to temporarily leave the aircraft and stretch their legs, as before.
Meanwhile, Qatar has become one of the last major airlines to soldier on throughout the crisis, launching a campaign highlighting its mission to “get people home”.
Failing that, Australians in the UK must pin their hopes on a statement released by Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce on 20 March stating he was determined to maintain a handful of international flights beyond Qantas’ March grounding.
Speaking to ABC’s Leigh Sales, Joyce said, “We’re just going through those details with the government at the moment. There could be some international operations that will go past the end of March.”
All passengers now landing in Australia are transferred from arrivals to a hotel to complete their 14-day isolation period – with the Defence Force checking people comply with the measures.
Fly into Spring with Australian Aviation’s latest print edition. Starting from $49.95 a year, you can read comprehensive coverage on all sectors of the industry to keep you in the loop. Get your hands on the subscription today. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.