BA's Sydney 'Kangaroo Route' gets new Boeing 777, shifts to Heathrow T5

BA's Sydney 'Kangaroo Route' gets new Boeing 777, shifts to Heathrow T5

British Airways is upgrading its Sydney-London service, in a move which the airline says underscores its commitment to the historic UK-Australia Kangaroo Route.

From March 30th 2013, a new Boeing 777-300ER will replace the Boeing 747-400 on the daily BA15/BA16 flight via Singapore.

"Our new initiatives mark a new chapter in our proud history with Australia, and underscores our commitment to the route" says Jamie Cassidy, British Airways Area General Manager for Middle East and Asia Pacific, in announcing the changes.

Perhaps even better is that the UK end of those flights will shift from London Heathrow’s Terminal 3 to the airline’s home in the newer and streamlined Terminal 5 – as will the BA11/BA12 Singapore-London flights.

That move will make it easier for travellers to catch onward BA connections without the current change of terminal.

It'll also provide access to some of BA's best lounges, with plenty for business travelelrs and frequent flyers to choose from.

That list starts with the superb Concorde Room, for first class passengers.

T5 has much better lounges than T3 -- including this, the "better-than-first" Concorde Room for BA's First Class passengers.

There's also the Galleries First lounge for BA's Gold Executive Club members and their oneworld Emerald equivalents, including Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum and Platinum One; plus Galleries Club lounge for BA Gold & Silver Executive Club, Qantas Gold and oneworld Sapphire.

Business class passengers and Qantas Golds get a choice of two business lounges, with a markedly improved ambience over T3.

But it doesn't hurt to prise yourself out of the lounge and poke around T5 itself.

The terminal has a top selection of airside shopping and dining, among them Gordon Ramsey’s Plane Food and Parisian bakers Ladurée, if you want to enjoy some morish macarons with your inflight meal!

T5 is also home to BA's Galleries Arrivals lounge for travellers in first class, business class and Gold Executive Club or cardholders (as well as Qantas Platinum and other oneworld Emeralds) can freshen up, feed up and catch up after their flight and before heading into the city.

Qantas won't be shifting to T5, however – a spokesperson for the airline confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the Red Roo's London-bound flights will still be funneled through T3, which is also the hub for new chum Emirates.

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

16 comments

  • mattdc

    mattdc

    31 Oct, 2012 09:26 am

    I just got really excited about a trip to the Concorde Room. That's probably a bit sad, but oh well.

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  • John Walton

    John Walton

    31 Oct, 2012 10:44 am

    You're among friends here, mate. ;)

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  • KG

    KG

    31 Oct, 2012 10:09 am

    This is excellent news! The big drawback I found when flying out of LHR bound for SIN and SYD / MEL was the fact you had to use T3 and thus had no access to Concorde Room on departure (when flying on BA F ticketed flights). Improved connections are also welcome when arriving iinto LHR, as most of the Europe flights leave from T5.

    Any info on which terminal the QF flight will use when arriving in LHR from DXB ? Will this remain T3?

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  • John Walton

    John Walton

    31 Oct, 2012 10:43 am

    That is indeed the plan: when I reviewed the Emirates T3 Lounge at Heathrow a few weeks ago all the Emirates T3 staff were planning for Qantas passengers to use their lounge.

    Iberia is the only non-BA airline (and they're actually owned by the same parent company) to use T5.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    31 Oct, 2012 10:45 am

    So will BA now reinstate its Executive Club programme in the Australian market?

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  • John Walton

    John Walton

    31 Oct, 2012 10:51 am

    No news on that yet, but if I were BA I'd certainly start thinking about it as the Qantas joint business concludes.

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  • madge

    madge

    31 Oct, 2012 11:41 am

    I guess this puts an end to the rumours of the BA A380 coming to SYD. But the 77W is far better than an old 744 (excepting maybe upper deck J).

    Any news if BA11/12 will also switch to T5?

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  • John Walton

    John Walton

    31 Oct, 2012 12:15 pm

    I don't necessarily think it's an 'end', but it might be a 'pause': it may be more a function of jet fuel prices. London-Singapore-Sydney is BA's longest trek, and in a relatively fuel-guzzling 747.

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  • David Flynn

    David

    31 Oct, 2012 01:35 pm

    "Any news if BA11/12 will also switch to T5?"

    Hi Madge: we went back to BA and they've confirmed that yes, the Singapore-London flights will also move to T5 as of March 30th :)  [article now updated to reflect this, so thanks for posing your question!]

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  • nix584

    nix584

    31 Oct, 2012 11:47 am

    Even though I'm a total Virgin Australia (and their partners) fanboy, I will definitely be thinking about flying BA for my holiday next year now. I'll be in whY but their 77W product looks fantastic, and T5 speaks for itself. Doesn't hurt that they're a couple of hundred $ cheaper than the competition on some routes either. Only downside is the trek to/through SYD and the associated QF flights.

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  • John Walton

    John Walton

    31 Oct, 2012 12:17 pm

    T5 is much more pleasant and convenient, even in economy -- my top tip is to drop your bags and then head for a bite to eat at the Sofitel, which has absolutely world-class food.

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  • KG

    KG

    31 Oct, 2012 12:30 pm

    I am seriuosly wondering how comfortable the 777-300ER is in terms of seating / layout. Having ahd a look at the seatmap, I am worried about the lavatories. When in F there are no lavatories in front, but rather behind near the second galley. This almost certainly means that the two lavatories will be used by C pax as well (esp since the C class galley will probably have a midflight bar set up, giving a horrible ratiop to lavatories per pax). F class is also basically "stuck" in between galleys. If you are in C you can use the 4 lavatories located over the wing, but these will be used by WT+ as well? This looks as bad as QF's revamped A380 (although at least QF has dedicated lavatories per class).

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  • AusFlyer

    AusFlyer

    31 Oct, 2012 01:20 pm

    There isn't much that makes me choose to fly BA... and this isn't persuasive either. The last flight I had on them earlier this year from LHR to JFK was one of the worst flights I've ever had with regards to service. I was in J and the flight attendant pretty much threw everything at the passengers... he dropped the amenity kit in my lap because I wasn't looking up at the time he approached. Dreadful airline.

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  • Scott Wilson

    Libertyscott

    31 Oct, 2012 08:02 pm

    The good news is for travellers in F and WT+, as it guarantees the new cabin and the new WT+ seating is a good step up from the product on the 747s.  Those in C will miss the upper deck, but on balance this is good - BA had to do this, as the fuel savings from switching to the 777-300s are considerable.

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  • Scott Rawlings

    sra35

    2 Nov, 2012 03:08 pm

    I flew on this aircraft in J class from London to LAX earlier this year.  Yes the bathrooms are at the rear of the F and J cabin.  The hard product is very good but I have to agree that the J class service was dreadful.  We had bland and boring food thrown at us, the crew never used our names and the tired looking crew could not wait for us to get off their aircraft.  LAX-Oz a few days later was with QF on the A380 J class and there was no comparison and we were much happier.

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  • ACUTE MEDICINE

    ACUTE MEDICINE

    3 Nov, 2012 10:38 pm

    The bottom line is comfort and pleasure AND i ENJOY FLYING AND ALL LOUNGES

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