Flight QF68, Sydney to Bangalore, India. It is the first new scheduled flight on any airline’s first non-stop route between Australia and southern India. It shaves nearly three hours off the previous fastest travel time from Sydney to Bengaluru. Nicknamed India’s “Silicon Valley”, Bangalore is a growing IT hub. But it’s also close to the veritable tourist destination of Kerala, an excellent gateway to many other Indian destinations.
Airbus A330. Qantas currently operates the A330 on Asia, Hawaii, New Zealand and major domestic routes.
Qantas Frequent Flyer and One World alliance partnership. The flight also marks the start of a partnership with India’s largest domestic airline, IndiGo. The partnership currently includes codeshares in 11 Indian cities beyond Bengaluru and Delhi (Qantas flies direct from Melbourne), with more planned. You can use and earn Qantas Points on these flights.
Business class, seat 2E.
The 9350km flight to Bengaluru departed at 9.30 am with an estimated flight time of 11 hours and 51 minutes. It arrived in the Karnataka state capital at around 5pm local time, making it a meaningful flight for my biological clock, although the 4.5 hour jet lag did wake me up at 3am in India. The return flight is an overnight flight.
Flights from Sydney to Bangalore produced an average of 691kg of CO2 per passenger. Qantas’ Fly Carbon Neutral offers the opportunity to offset carbon emissions by contributing to environmentally friendly projects. The airline matches every donation dollar-for-dollar. Check the box at the final payment stage or ask your travel agent to include an offset.
The service operates four times a week from Sydney on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
All travelers to India must complete the Air Suvidha Self-Declaration Form prior to departure and upload your vaccination certificate or negative COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test.
Yes, I was that guy – I ignored my Air Suvidha form. (Talk about practice…)
Like I arrived 2.5 hours before departure, luckily I had applied for and got my e-Visa within ample time. After a quick panic I filled out the form online – but this made traveling a bit anxious – Indian authorities required paper copies of the documents. I only have Air Suvidha on my phone.
Again luckily for me this isn’t a problem on the Indian end, but I wouldn’t advise anyone else to be so careless. For your peace of mind, make sure you prepare all required documents in advance and bring them in paper form, including e-tickets. Also, don’t forget your boarding pass when you get off the plane. When you enter the airport, someone might want to look at it and get it stamped.
this seat; special seat; seat
2E is the inner row of seats. The Qantas A330-200 has 28 business class seats and 243 economy class seats. The A330 “Business Suite” reclines into a fully flat bed in a 1-2-1 layout, with direct aisle access for each passenger. Introduced in 2015, they feature a seat width of 23 to 24 inches, a minimum bed length of 79 inches, and plenty of personal storage space.
The standard checked baggage allowance for business class is 40kg, two pieces of hand luggage are limited to 14kg, and one piece does not exceed 10kg. Higher perks are available depending on Qantas Frequent Flyer membership tier.
The lack of Wi-Fi on this flight is partly a disappointment on daytime flights where many people may have to work, but also a blessing. Nonstop, I got a lot of work done and squeezed into the movie, and finally saw Top Gun: Maverick, a new addition to the onboard movie offerings that looked and sounded great on the Qantas entertainment system. (I have a need; need the volume and turn it up.)
It’s good to see white tablecloths and napkins back in Qantas’ premium service. As the menu they offer has Indian and Western dishes in both lunch and dinner service. Snacks are available throughout the kitchen, including fruit, chips, cookies and drinks.
According to the cutting-edge privilege, flight attendants will address passengers by name. Despite Qantas’ recent troubles, it’s worth noting that the airline still retains some of its best cabin crew.
there’s one more thing
Our flight home was delayed by around 11 hours due to a mechanical problem in Sydney – a stark reminder of the difficulties the airline continues to face since COVID wreaked havoc on international travel.
Fantastic – the comfort of business class, but also the well-scheduled and non-stop nature of the flight. A group of women who traveled economy class to a monastery in Kerala state were more than happy to be able to fly direct to southern India without passing through places like Singapore, Malaysia or Hong Kong.
Our rating (out of five)
The author is flown by Qantas Airways, see qantas airlines
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