The Independent

What is the best way to break up a flight to Sydney?

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Q Can I ask how best to fly to Australia with shorter hops, say eight hours per flight, with stays in between? We’re just back from Sydney, seeing our daughter after a four-year gap due to the Covid situation. Awful flights with Qantas from Heathrow both ways. We want to go back but cannot face the usual change of plane in Singapore or Dubai again. Can you suggest an alternativ­e? We cannot afford business class.

A The journey between London Heathrow and Sydney is particular­ly arduous at present with the closure of Ukrainian and Russian airspace – extending the journey to roughly 11,000 miles each way. As you say, the London-Singapore or DubaiSydne­y legs are onerous, at 13-14 hours.

Yet stopping off at both cities – and recreating the traditiona­l two-stop trip to Australia – is easy and (relatively) relaxing. The Emirates 9.10am departure from Heathrow arrives in Dubai at 8pm, a civilised time for some supper and a decent hotel for the night. The airport is close to the city centre, with the Metro taking you straight in within minutes.

Next morning, Emirates has a civilised 10am departure that reaches Singapore at 9.25pm. You could stay out at the airport. Better still, plan a stay for a couple of nights in the city-state to help your body clock readjust (the Hotel Boss is an affordable central option close to an MRT train station on the line from the airport). Singapore Airlines has a 7.05am departure for Sydney. But its well-regarded budget subsidiary, Scoot, has a lessonerou­s 10.15am flight, which is the one I would choose, for a 9pm arrival in Australia’s largest city.

Flying home using daytime flights is easier because the time zones work with you. Being able to sleep in a proper bed during the stops on your journey turns this into a better-than-businesscl­ass propositio­n, I believe. A good travel agent will create the itinerary that works best for you and, I hope, find an airfare that is competitiv­e with the one-stop options.

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 ?? L ?? T he journey between London Heathrow and Sydney is particu l ar y arduous at present with the c l osure of Ukrainian and Russian airspace (Getty/iStock)
L T he journey between London Heathrow and Sydney is particu l ar y arduous at present with the c l osure of Ukrainian and Russian airspace (Getty/iStock)

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