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Getting There By Air

Australia - Getting There By Air

Those travelling to Australia have a variety of flight options available to them. The country has a number of international airports which handle flights from all over the world and air travel is one of the main ways of domestic travel, due to the size of the country. Flying to Australia is definitely the easiest option for expats as getting there by sea can take more than a month depending upon your departure point and there are no road connections for driving.

The national airline is Qantas, which was founded in the 1920s. The airline now offers many different domestic and international flights and is highly regarded as one of the best long distance airlines. Qantas is now part of a much larger group of companies which include a holiday company. Qantas is the airline of choice for many flying to Australia as it works out of all the international and domestic airports and you can be sure of easily reaching the area of the country that you are moving to.

There are a number of budget airlines but these handle domestic routes and there are few budget options for those who wish to travel to Australia. Flights from all parts of the world are fairly expensive due to the distance, although if you shop around you can purchase low cost flights during airline sales and other promotions.

Sydney airport has a long history and has the highest passenger numbers in Australia, both for domestic and international flights. All major airlines use Sydney, including Qantas, British Airways, Virgin, American Airlines and many more. The airport is approximately 8 miles from the centre of the city and can be easily reached by a number of different public transport methods as well as by cyclelink and pedestrian footpaths. There are 3 terminals at the airport and one of these deals solely with international flights. Car rental is available at the airport and some of the world’s leading names in vehicle rental have an outlet there including Avis, Hertz and Europcar.

Melbourne airport also operates both international and domestic flights and international airlines include both Qantas and Cathay Pacific. The airport has all the facilities that you would expect from an international airport such as shops and business facilities. Melbourne airport has a similar number of car rental outlets and the same providers as those at Sydney airport. If you need to use public transport to get into the city then you will find that there are regular shuttle buses and taxis from all terminals.

Perth airport is the fourth largest in the country and has won a number of awards for the quality of its service. It is 12 km from the centre of the city and boasts 2 runways and has 3 terminals for both domestic and international airports. As with Melbourne and Sydney, public transport and car hire facilities are extensive. Those wishing to fly to Perth from the UK and the US will need to change planes either in the Middle East or in Eastern Australia as the international flights are mainly to destinations around the Pacific.

Flight times vary a great deal. As flights to Australia from the UK are very long these are often broken up with a stopover somewhere else, such as Hong Kong. You can also choose to fly with a stopover in the Middle East or in the US. From the UK to Canberra the average is 21 hours with no lengthy stopovers elsewhere. There are departures from nearly all international airports in the UK to Australia. Emirates Airlines fly from Glasgow to Sydney, Newcastle to Melbourne and Manchester to Brisbane. Singapore Airlines flies from Manchester and several London airports to Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. Qantas operates out of the major UK airports to give a wider variety of flight options.

If you are flying from Los Angeles to Australia then you can expect the flight to take up to 15 hours. Airlines which fly from the US to Australia include Qantas, Air New Zealand and United Airlines. Flying from the east coast of the US from cities such as New York will usually mean a stop in Los Angeles and flights can take much longer because of this. There are plans by a number of airlines to introduce more routes in the near future.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.