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Airlines and Flights to Australia:

There are many different airlines to choose from when booking flights to Australia depending on your country of departure. Australia’s size and distance from the rest of the world usually means that there are currently no non-stop flights to Australia. If travelling from the UK or Europe it usually means a stop either in Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong or Bangkok) or the middle east (Dubai or Qatar). Qantas recently formed an alliance with Emirates and therefore many Qantas flight numbers from Europe are now on Emirates operated aircraft and all Qantas (and Emirates) flights from the UK now stop in Dubai. An alternative would be British Airways via Singapore, Singapore Airlines (also via Singapore), Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong or Qatar airways via Doha.

There are also other budget airline options, though these generally mean more stops and a much longer flight and travel time. If you want to have the shortest journey and save on airfares, it is a good idea to sign up to the various carriers’ email updates or specials and book well in advance. Also compare total travel time or add the stopover time to flying time to keep the journey shorter. If you are travelling with minimum luggage, you can also stay in the stopover city for a few days to break your journey as most carriers have special deals on accommodation in Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong etc. Bali and the islands of Thailand are short distances from Singapore and Bangkok too.

Double Baggage Allowance

Many of the major carriers give new migrants special baggage allowances on flights to Australia and some give you double baggage allowance for each fare paying passenger. These offers are restricted to one-way fares and you will need to provide evidence of your visa type as they are generally only valid for the permanent residence visas (i.e. not for subclass 457 or other provisional visas). Contact your preferred airline(s) to check availability and ask for a copy of their terms and conditions too.

Main Airlines in Australia


Qantas is one of the world’s longest running airlines, established in 1920, they are Australia’s largest airline and fly to/from all Australian capital cities as well as most of the larger towns across the country. Qantas is partners with British Airways, American Airlines, Emirates, Aer Lingus, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Iberia, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines, China Eastern as well as a number of others. This means you can earn Qantas frequent flier points on flights to Australia with their partner airlines and points with the partner airlines when flying with Qantas on most flights. To book your flights and for more information, visit the Qantas Website

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia is Australia’s second largest airline after Qantas and was established as Virgin Blue in 1999. They offer regular direct flights between all Australian capital cities as well as to most regional centres. They are partners with Air New Zealand, Delta Airlines, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America and others. This means you can earn and redeem Virgin Velocity frequent flier points on many international routes when flying to Australia with their partners. For more information, visit the Virgin Australia Website.


Jetstar is a low-cost airline that is wholly owned by Qantas and offers a “no frills” service between most Australian capitals, major centres and flights to many destinations in Asia and further abroad. You can earn Qantas frequent flier points on many Jetstar flights and can redeem Qantas points for Jetstar flights (depending on availability and ticket type). Visit the Jetstar Website for more information.

Australian Frequent Flier Programs

Qantas and Virgin Australia both offer frequent flier reward programs that reward travellers with “points” or “air Miles” for regular travel and both also offer various ways to earn points through credit card partners, car hire partners and bonuses from time to time. Qantas’ program is called the Qantas Frequent Flier Rewards and allows you to earn reward points when flying with Qantas and their partner airlines, when booking car hire, various holidays, some hotels as well as many different credit card programs – all subject to the Qantas and partners Terms and Conditions. Qantas usually charge a joining fee of $89.50(AUD) for Australian residents and $50(AUD) for New Zealand residents, though residents from other countries can usually join the program for free. So it is a great idea to sign up before you leave your current home country! They are also currently running a special for Australian residents to join for free until 31 December 2017. Please visit this link to take advantage of this offer: Qantas Frequent Flier Free Signup.

Virgin Australia’s frequent flier program is called Velocity Frequent Flier and also allows you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and other rewards (as listed in their program) on flights to Australia, within Australia and when travelling on flights operated by their partner airlines – subject to their terms and conditions. They also have partner credit cards and other companies that allow you to earn Virgin Velocity points and their program is free to join. Visit the Velocity Frequent Flier Website for more information, their terms and conditions and to sign up.

Click to Continue to the next section (Australian Schools).

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