10 Best Airlines to Fly to Australia (Updated 2023)

by Flora
here are the best airlines to fly to Australia
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Choosing from the best airlines to fly to Australia can be the first chapter in your epic Down Under story, offering not just a seat, but an experience that complements the adventure awaiting you. We’ve sifted through 150 airports in the US, UK, Canada, and Asia, considering factors like in-flight amenities and customer reviews, all to guide you in selecting an airline that doesn’t just get you to Australia, but makes the journey itself a memorable part of your trip!

Embarking on a journey to Australia is like stepping into a world of unparalleled beauty and adventure. From the iconic Sydney Opera House to the awe-inspiring Great Barrier Reef, the Land Down Under promises experiences that are nothing short of extraordinary. But before you can dive into this wonderland, there’s the not-so-small matter of actually getting there. With flight durations that can stretch over 20 hours, your choice of airline isn’t just a ticket—it’s your first step in making this trip unforgettable.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best airlines to fly to Australia. This breaks down everything from in-flight amenities to airline safety ratings. Whether you’re a luxury traveler or a budget explorer, we’ve got you covered. We’ve also scoured reviews and evaluated customer service to present you with the top options for your Australian adventure.

From business travel to Australia to family-friendly airlines, this article aims to be your go-to resource for all things air travel to Australia. So buckle up and get ready to discover how to make your journey as spectacular as the destination itself.

The best airlines to fly to Australia right now
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Quick tip on how to find cheap flights to Australia

Looking for cheap flights to Australia right now? Before diving into all the airlines that fly to Australia, I first want to share a quick tip on how to save money on airfare.

For the past three years, I’ve used Scott’s Cheap Flights (now called Going) to get amazing flight deals. All you have to do is enter your home airport and where you want to go, and from there, they’ll send you mistake fares and other ridiculously cheap flight deals. And the coolest part? It’s 100% FREE! In 2022, I saved thousands of dollars from their email alerts. This includes most recently, a $1,087 roundtrip fare from Boston to Australia.

There’s a free and a premium version – the free one has pretty much everything you’ll need. Though if you’re like me and travel a lot every year, it’s worth upgrading to the paid version for $49 per year. In my experience, you’ll get your money back after finding just one discounted flight! As such, I recommend signing up for the free trial (you can cancel at any time) to try it for yourself. And if you like it, be sure to use my coupon code JON20 to save 20%!

Now without further ado, here are the best Australia flights in 2023.

1. Qantas

If you’re planning a trip Down Under and want to start the experience before you even land, Qantas Airways is your go-to. Known for its exceptional customer service and in-flight amenities, this airline offers a quintessentially Australian experience. From the moment you step on board, you’ll feel the warm Aussie hospitality that sets Qantas apart from other best international airlines to Australia.

Qantas covers a wide range of destinations, both within Australia and internationally. From Sydney to Melbourne and beyond, you’ll have plenty of options to explore the Land Down Under. One of the unique features of Qantas is its in-flight sommelier service. This is where you can enjoy Australian wines carefully selected to match your meal.

Qantas has primary hubs in Sydney and Melbourne, providing convenience for onward travel within Australia.
Qantas has primary hubs in Sydney and Melbourne, providing convenience for onward travel within Australia.

When it comes to finding deals, keep an eye on their seasonal promotions. While Qantas leans towards the higher end of the pricing spectrum, their sales can offer some attractive fares. The airline’s primary hubs are located in Sydney and Melbourne, making it convenient for further travel within Australia.

In terms of price range, Qantas is more on the luxury side, but their comprehensive services justify the cost. Did you know that Qantas was the first airline to introduce Business Suites on domestic routes? It’s these kinds of innovations that make Qantas a standout choice for anyone looking to travel to Australia in style.


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2. Virgin Australia

For travelers seeking both affordability and luxury, Virgin Australia offers an ideal solution. This airline has gained a reputation for its stylish yet relaxed atmosphere. This makes it a strong competitor among the best airlines to go to Australia.

Virgin Australia operates an extensive network of routes, connecting major cities in Australia with international destinations. This extensive reach positions it as one of the best airlines to fly to Australia, especially for those flying from the United States or Asia. Direct flights to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane provide a variety of options for your Australian adventure.

Virgin Australia is the perfect choice for travelers in search of a blend of affordability and luxury.
Virgin Australia is the perfect choice for travelers in search of a blend of affordability and luxury.

The airline goes beyond mere transportation, aiming to make each journey memorable. One unique feature is their “Economy X” seating, which provides extra legroom and priority boarding—a small upgrade with a significant impact on comfort.

Frequent sales and package deals make it easier for travelers to secure affordable fares. The airline’s primary hub is in Brisbane, with additional hubs in Sydney and Melbourne for convenient connections.

In terms of fare options, Virgin Australia offers a spectrum from economy to business class. An added benefit is the airline’s partnership with Delta Air Lines. This allows travelers to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles across both carriers.

3. Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand might be the flag carrier of New Zealand, but it’s also a fantastic option for those flying to Australia. With its award-winning service and innovative in-flight amenities, Air New Zealand stands out as one of the best airlines that fly to Australia.

The airline offers a comprehensive network of routes, connecting key cities in Australia with various international destinations. From Sydney to Melbourne and Adelaide, Air New Zealand ensures you have multiple options for your trip to the Land Down Under.

Air New Zealand is an excellent choice for travelers heading to Australia.
Air New Zealand is an excellent choice for travelers heading to Australia.

When it comes to unique features, Air New Zealand doesn’t disappoint. Their Skycouch feature transforms a row of economy seats into a flat surface, making it the best airline to fly to Australia if you’re looking for extra comfort without the business class price tag.

Air New Zealand frequently offers competitive fares, especially during their seasonal promotions. The airline’s primary hub is in Auckland, New Zealand, which serves as a convenient layover point for those traveling further into Australia.

Price-wise, Air New Zealand offers a range of options to accommodate various budgets. From economy to their luxurious business premier class, you’ll find something that suits your needs. A fun fact? Air New Zealand has been named Airline of the Year multiple times by AirlineRatings.com, adding another feather to its cap.

4. Cathay Pacific

For a seamless and luxurious journey to Australia, Cathay Pacific is a top choice. Known for its impeccable service and high-quality in-flight amenities, this Hong Kong-based airline is often considered the best flight to Australia for travelers seeking a blend of comfort and convenience. It also ranks high among the best airlines to travel to Australia, especially for those flying from Asia or North America.

Cathay Pacific offers an extensive network of routes that include major Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The airline’s hub in Hong Kong serves as a convenient connection point, allowing you to explore one more vibrant city on your way to Australia.

Cathay Pacific, based in Hong Kong, provides convenient connections to various Asian destinations.
Cathay Pacific, based in Hong Kong, provides convenient connections to various Asian destinations.

Looking for unique features? How about an award-winning entertainment system and a menu crafted by Michelin-starred chefs? Cathay Pacific goes the extra mile to ensure your flight is as enjoyable as possible. The airline is known for its frequent promotions and package deals, providing opportunities for travelers to find more affordable fares. With its primary hub in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific offers easy connections to other Asian destinations as well.

In terms of pricing, Cathay Pacific caters to a range of budgets, offering everything from premium economy to first-class options. An interesting tidbit: the airline has been recognized for its excellent wine selection, so oenophiles will feel right at home.

5. Delta Airlines

When it comes to the best airlines from the US to Australia, Delta Air Lines often tops the list. Delta combines American efficiency with a range of amenities that make the long-haul flight more bearable. The airline offers various routes that include stops in Los Angeles and Sydney.

Delta’s extensive network ensures you can catch a flight to Australia from multiple cities across the United States. The airline primarily flies into Sydney, but partnerships with other carriers provide options for travel to other Australian cities.

Delta Air Lines frequently ranks as one of the best airlines from the US to Australia.
Delta Air Lines frequently ranks as one of the best airlines from the US to Australia.

Delta stands out for its Delta One Suite, available on select long-haul flights. This private space features a flatbed seat, an 18-inch entertainment screen, and direct aisle access, elevating your travel experience to a new level.

Frequent promotions and the ability to use SkyMiles make Delta an affordable option for those who plan ahead. The airline’s main hubs in the United States include Atlanta, Detroit, and Los Angeles, offering convenient connections for your journey.

Delta’s fare options range from basic economy to the luxurious Delta One Suite, catering to various travel budgets. Did you know that Delta was the first U.S. airline to offer free in-flight messaging? It’s just another way they strive to improve your flight experience.

6. Etihad Airlines

Etihad Airways offers a luxurious and comfortable journey for travelers heading to Australia. Known for its top-notch service and attention to detail, this Abu Dhabi-based airline is a popular choice for those looking to experience a bit of Middle Eastern hospitality.

The airline flies to several key Australian cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. With its hub in Abu Dhabi, Etihad offers convenient connections for travelers coming from Europe, Asia, and even the United States.

Etihad Airways provides a luxurious and comfortable journey for Australia-bound travelers.
Etihad Airways provides a luxurious and comfortable journey for Australia-bound travelers.

When it comes to amenities, Etihad is among the best airlines to fly to Australia. The airline’s Business Studios offer unparalleled comfort, featuring fully-flat beds and direct aisle access. For those looking to splurge, the First Apartments provide a private living space complete with a Poltrona Frau leather armchair and a separate bed.

Etihad is known for its competitive pricing, especially if you book in advance or take advantage of their frequent promotions. The airline’s hub in Abu Dhabi is a spectacle in itself, boasting a range of high-end shops and dining options. Etihad offers a variety of options, from economy to the opulent Residence Suite, which comes with a living room, separate bedroom, and en-suite shower room. Etihad’s in-flight chefs can customize your meals, making your journey even more personalized.

7. United Airlines

United Airlines, one of the major U.S. carriers, offers a straightforward and efficient way to reach Australia. As one of the best airlines that fly to Australia, United is a go-to option for travelers who prioritize convenience and a wide range of flight options.

United’s extensive network allows for multiple departure cities across the United States, including hubs like Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco. The airline primarily flies into Sydney and Melbourne, making it easier for you to start your Australian adventure wherever you prefer.

United Airlines is a top choice for travelers flying to Australia due to its outstanding in-flight amenities.
United Airlines is a top choice for travelers flying to Australia due to its outstanding in-flight amenities.

When it comes to in-flight amenities, United holds its own as one of the best airline to fly to Australia for many travelers. Their Polaris Business Class features lie-flat seats, premium bedding, and a multi-course meal service that rivals some of the best in the industry.

Frequent flyers will appreciate United’s MileagePlus program, which offers various ways to earn and redeem miles. The airline’s hubs in the United States are well-equipped, providing plenty of options for shopping and dining during layovers.

Price-wise, United offers a range of options to suit different budgets, from basic economy to the more luxurious Polaris Business Class. An interesting fact: United was one of the first airlines to offer in-flight Wi-Fi, keeping you connected even on long-haul flights.

8. Thai Airways

For travelers flying to Australia, Thai Airways offers an experience that beautifully blends traditional Thai hospitality with modern aviation standards. Imagine stepping onto an aircraft and being greeted with the warm smiles of flight attendants dressed in traditional Thai garments. From that moment, you know you’re in for a journey that’s as comforting as it is efficient.

Thai Airways operates multiple routes to major Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The airline is renowned for its impeccable service, which starts right from the check-in counter and continues throughout the flight. Whether you’re flying economy or splurging on a first-class ticket, the airline ensures that every passenger is treated like royalty.

Thai Airways boasts excellent safety ratings, making it a dependable option for families, solo travelers, and business professionals.
Thai Airways boasts excellent safety ratings, making it a dependable option for families, solo travelers, and business professionals.

One of the standout features of Thai Airways is its in-flight dining experience. Forget the usual airplane food; here, you’re treated to authentic Thai cuisine that’s as flavorful as it is visually appealing. And if you’re not a fan of Thai food, worry not—the airline also offers a variety of international dishes to cater to diverse palates.

When it comes to the best airlines to fly to Australia, Thai Airways checks all the boxes: comfort, service, and a unique cultural experience. The airline also scores high on safety ratings, making it a reliable choice for families, solo travelers, and business professionals alike. With its extensive in-flight entertainment options and spacious seating arrangements, Thai Airways ensures that your long-haul flight feels like a breeze.

9. Korean Air

Korean Air, South Korea‘s flagship carrier, has long been a favorite among travelers flying to Australia. Known for its top-notch service and luxurious amenities, the airline offers a travel experience that’s hard to beat. From the moment you step on board, you’re enveloped in an atmosphere of elegance and sophistication, making it one of the best airlines to Australia.

The airline operates flights to major Australian cities such as Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, providing a range of options for travelers. One of the highlights of flying with Korean Air is the spacious seating, especially in business and first-class cabins. The seats are designed for maximum comfort, allowing you to stretch out and relax during the long journey Down Under.

In the realm of the best airlines to fly to Australia, Korean Air excels in comfort and exceptional service.
In the realm of the best airlines to fly to Australia, Korean Air excels in comfort and exceptional service.

But what truly sets Korean Air apart is its commitment to customer service. The flight attendants are trained to provide personalized service, ensuring that each passenger’s needs are met with a smile. Whether it’s a pillow, a blanket, or a specific meal preference, your comfort is their priority.

When it comes to in-flight entertainment, Korean Air doesn’t disappoint. With a wide selection of movies, TV shows, and music, boredom is not an option. The airline also offers Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to stay connected even while cruising at 35,000 feet.

In the realm of the best airlines to fly to Australia, Korean Air stands out for its blend of comfort, luxury, and exceptional service. The airline also boasts impressive safety records, making it a reliable choice for all types of travelers.

10. Air Canada

Air Canada, the largest airline in Canada, offers a unique blend of North American efficiency and comfort when flying to Australia. As one of the best airlines to Australia, it provides travelers with a seamless experience that starts right from the booking process and extends to the moment you collect your luggage at your Australian destination.

The airline operates direct flights to Sydney and also offers connecting flights to other major cities like Melbourne and Brisbane through its partner airlines. This flexibility in routing options makes Air Canada a convenient choice for travelers from various parts of North America.

As one of the best airlines to Australia, Air Canada offers a seamless experience from booking to luggage collection.
As one of the best airlines to Australia, Air Canada offers a seamless experience from booking to luggage collection.

One of the standout features of Air Canada is its commitment to sustainability. The airline has invested in fuel-efficient aircraft and also offers a carbon offset program, allowing environmentally conscious travelers to make a positive impact. This focus on sustainability doesn’t compromise the in-flight experience, though. Passengers can expect top-notch service, comfortable seating, and a wide array of in-flight entertainment options.

Air Canada’s in-flight menu is another highlight, offering a range of culinary delights that reflect Canada’s diverse cultural landscape. From traditional poutine to gourmet international cuisine, the airline ensures that your taste buds are as well-traveled as you are.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Airlines to Travel to Australia

Plan your trip Down Under with these frequently asked questions about the best airlines to fly to Australia from travelers like you.

What major airlines fly to Australia?

Several major airlines operate flights to Australia, offering a range of options for travelers. Some of the best airlines to fly to Australia include Thai Airways, Korean Air, Air Canada, Qantas, and Virgin Australia, among others. Each airline offers different amenities, routes, and pricing, so it’s essential to compare and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Which airline is best for Australia?

The top airline for Australia depends on various factors, including the departure location, personal preferences, budget, and specific needs. However, based on reputation, service quality, and customer reviews, here are some of the best airlines that serve Australia:

  1. Qantas:
    • Australia’s flag carrier and its largest airline.
    • Known for its excellent service, extensive domestic and international network, and strong safety record.
    • Offers premium services like the Qantas Club and a loyalty program called Qantas Frequent Flyer.
    • Has been awarded the title of the world’s safest airline multiple times.
  2. Virgin Australia:
    • Australia’s second-largest airline.
    • Recognized for its customer service and modern fleet.
    • Offers a competitive loyalty program, Velocity Frequent Flyer.
  3. Singapore Airlines:
    • Often chosen by travelers for routes between Europe/Asia and Australia.
    • Known for its top-notch in-flight service, entertainment, and comfort, especially in business and first-class.
  4. Emirates:
    • Provides excellent service and connects many global cities to Australia via its hub in Dubai.
    • Known for its luxurious first-class and business-class services.
  5. Cathay Pacific:
    • Connects Australia to Europe and North America via Hong Kong.
    • Renowned for its service and has won awards for being one of the best airlines globally.

Why are flights to Australia still so expensive?

Flights to Australia can be costly due to a combination of factors such as distance, fuel prices, and limited competition on certain routes. However, some of the best airlines to fly to Australia offer competitive pricing and deals, especially if you book well in advance or during promotional periods.

In this extensive guide, we've examined top airlines for Australia travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.
In this extensive guide, we’ve examined top airlines for Australia travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.

Is Qantas or Virgin better?

Both Qantas and Virgin Australia are reputable airlines offering quality service and amenities. Qantas is often praised for its extensive route network and premium services, especially in business and first-class. Virgin Australia is known for its customer-friendly approach and competitive pricing. Your choice between the two would depend on your specific needs, such as route availability, budget, and preferred amenities.

What is the best time to book a flight to Australia?

The best time to book a flight to Australia varies depending on your departure city and desired destination within Australia. Generally, it’s advisable to book at least 3-6 months in advance to secure the best rates and availability.

How do I choose the best airline for my Australia trip?

To choose the best airline for your trip, consider factors like route availability, in-flight amenities, customer reviews, and pricing. Research and compare different airlines to find the one that offers the best balance of comfort, convenience, and cost.

What airlines fly to Australia?

Many international airlines fly to Australia, connecting it to various parts of the world. The airlines that operate flights to Australia often depend on the departure country and city. Here’s a list of some major airlines that fly to Australia:

  1. Australian-based Airlines:
    • Qantas: Australia’s flag carrier and largest airline.
    • Virgin Australia: Another major Australian airline.
    • Jetstar: A low-cost subsidiary of Qantas.
  2. Asian Airlines:
    • Singapore Airlines: From Singapore to various Australian cities.
    • Cathay Pacific: Connects Hong Kong with major Australian cities.
    • AirAsia X: A low-cost carrier from Malaysia.
    • Garuda Indonesia: The Indonesian flag carrier.
    • Thai Airways: Connects Thailand with Australia.
    • China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Air China: Major airlines connecting Chinese cities with Australia.
    • ANA (All Nippon Airways) and Japan Airlines: Connect Japan with Australia.
  3. Middle Eastern Airlines:
    • Emirates: Operates flights from Dubai to several Australian cities.
    • Etihad Airways: Connects Abu Dhabi with Australia.
    • Qatar Airways: Flies from Doha to various Australian destinations.
  4. North American Airlines:
    • Delta Air Lines and United Airlines: Offer routes from the U.S. to Australia.
    • Air Canada: Connects Canada with Australia.
  5. European Airlines:
    • British Airways: Operates flights from the UK, often with a stopover in Asia.
  6. Pacific Airlines:
    • Air New Zealand: Connects New Zealand with several Australian cities.
    • Fiji Airways: Connects Fiji and other Pacific islands with Australia.
  7. Other Airlines:
    • South African Airways: Connects South Africa with Australia.
    • LATAM: Connects South America, especially Chile, with Australia.

Are there any budget airlines that fly to Australia?

Yes, there are budget airlines like Jetstar and Scoot that offer more affordable options for flying to Australia. However, these airlines may have fewer amenities and stricter baggage policies compared to full-service airlines.

What should I look for in an airline’s safety record?

An airline’s safety record can be a crucial factor in your decision-making process. Look for airlines that have high safety ratings and a history of few incidents. Many of the best airlines to Australia prioritize safety and undergo regular inspections to ensure compliance with international standards.

What airlines fly to Australia from UK?

Several airlines operate flights between the UK and Australia. While there are no direct flights due to the long distance, many airlines offer one-stop services via their respective hubs. Here are the primary airlines that fly between the UK and Australia:

  1. Qantas:
    • Historically, Qantas has operated the “Kangaroo Route” between the UK and Australia with a stopover in cities like Singapore or Dubai.
    • In recent years, Qantas introduced a non-stop flight between London and Perth, which is one of the longest commercial flights in the world. However, the availability of this route can vary based on demand and other factors.
  2. British Airways:
    • British Airways operates flights to Australian cities with a stopover, typically in Singapore.
  3. Emirates:
    • Emirates offers flights from various UK cities to Australia with a stopover in Dubai.
  4. Singapore Airlines:
    • Flies from London to Australian cities with a stopover in Singapore.
  5. Cathay Pacific:
    • Provides services from London to Australia with a transit in Hong Kong.
  6. Etihad Airways:
    • Operates flights from the UK to Australia with a stopover in Abu Dhabi.
  7. Qatar Airways:
    • Connects the UK to Australia with a transit in Doha.
  8. Malaysia Airlines:
    • Offers flights with a stopover in Kuala Lumpur.
  9. Thai Airways:
    • Flights transit through Bangkok.

Can I offset my carbon footprint when flying to Australia?

Yes, some airlines like Air Canada offer carbon offset programs that allow you to contribute to environmental projects to offset the emissions generated by your flight. This is an excellent option for environmentally conscious travelers.

Which is the cheapest month to fly to Australia?

Airfare prices can fluctuate based on various factors, but generally, the cheapest months to fly to Australia are during the country’s low travel season. Here’s a general guideline:

Low Season (May to August):

  • Australia’s winter months (May to August) tend to have lower airfare prices, especially when compared to the peak summer season. This is especially true for destinations in the southern parts of Australia, where temperatures are cooler.
  • The exception is if you’re heading to northern Australia (like Queensland) or popular winter destinations like the ski resorts in New South Wales or Victoria. These areas might still see higher prices due to domestic tourism.

Shoulder Season (March to May and September to November):

  • The months immediately before and after the peak season can also offer competitive prices. The weather is generally pleasant during these months, making it a great time to visit.

High Season (December to February):

  • Australia’s summer months coincide with the Christmas and New Year holidays, as well as school vacations. This is the peak travel season, and airfares tend to be higher.

Australia Airlines in 2023: Recap

Choosing the right airline for your trip to Australia is more than just a logistical decision; it’s the first step in what promises to be an unforgettable adventure. From the moment you book your ticket to the time you step off the plane onto Australian soil, the airline you choose plays a significant role in shaping your travel experience. Whether you prioritize luxury and comfort, are on a budget, or are looking for the most direct route, there’s an airline out there that fits your needs.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored some of the best airlines to fly to Australia, each offering a unique blend of amenities, customer service, and overall travel experience. We’ve delved into the details, from in-flight dining options to safety records, to help you make an informed decision.

Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. So take your time, do your research, and choose the airline that will not only get you to Australia but will also make the journey a memorable part of your adventure.

The best airlines to fly to Australia for all types of travelers
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