The Curious Case Of Flight BA16

Due to the ongoing restrictions entering Singapore, today’s BA16 from Sydney – Singapore – London faces an interesting issue.

It’s unable to stop in Singapore to refuel.

Qantas have already had to reroute their QF1/2 services via Darwin. The Sydney – London usually makes a scheduled stop over in Singapore.

For British Airways however, this isn’t possible. Therefore, the airline has had to postpone the flight for 24 hours.

BA16 delay

In the mean time, BA is attempting to get clearance for a quick pit stop in Singapore in order to refuel.

When today’s BA15 arrives into Sydney, that flight will then turn around as usual and operate back to London – via Singapore – as the BA16. At more or less the same time, the delayed BA16 from today will also leave.

BA16 flights on 26th March

The hope is that both flights can arrive into Singapore, fuel up and go. Seeing as this occurrence will be a one off, British Airways are hoping the Singapore authorities will be more lenient. I presume that if they asked the authorities to wave the rules, they figured the plan would be less likely to succeed.

Due to the current restrictions in Singapore, the passengers that have come from Sydney will not be able to leave the aircraft whilst it is refuelled.

And If Singapore Says No?

Who knows!

I very much doubt British Airways will leave two of their 777’s in Sydney indefinitely. From a passenger perspective, they could be rebooked on to Qantas where applicable. But from a company point of view, this could be a headache.

I suppose if needs must, there are a number of airports throughout Asia where BA have a presence. Kuala Lumpur is the most obvious choice that springs to my mind. Failing that, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka, Shanghai and Beijing could also be used for a stop and go. Although not being the scheduled stop for the BA16, this could mean quite a bit of paperwork.

As the 777-300ER has a range of 7370nm, refuelling options aren’t limited to Asia however. The aircraft can reach the West coast of the USA where San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle all see British Airways service.

The Middle East could also provide options to stop off. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Bahrain are just a few of many options in that region.

Update: Singapore Has Cleared The Two BA16 Flights To Fuel And Go.

But I’m getting carried away. The likelihood is that both flights will be able to fuel up in Singapore and head on to London.

Although presumably, the BA15/16 flights won’t be operating until Singapore opens its borders.

The other British Airways flight between London-Singapore has been cancelled tonight. Although the BA15 from London – Singapore – Sydney are scheduled for the rest of the week.

Track flight BA16 and see where it ends up here:

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