Southern Cross Route is a term for passenger flights from Australasia (or Oceania) to Europe via the Western Hemisphere. The term was coined by British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines when they began services from Sydney to Vancouver in 1949.[1][2] The route was extended to Europe following the signing of an air services agreement between Australia and the United Kingdom in 1957,[3] which saw Qantas flying from Sydney to London via Los Angeles and New York using Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellations.[4]: 145  The name is in honor of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's historic 1928 flight in the aircraft Southern Cross.[5] The equivalent route running through the Eastern Hemisphere is known as the Kangaroo Route.[6]

Qantas operated on the route from 1949 — 1974, when it discontinued the London leg of the trip.[4]: 148  BOAC began flying to Australia via the South Pacific in April 1967.[7] Air New Zealand operated an AucklandLos AngelesLondon Heathrow from 1982 — 2020.[8] Other airlines to use the route include Air Tahiti Nui, French Bee, and Air France, Air Canada, Aerolíneas Argentinas, and LAN Airlines.


Aside from codeshares and alliances/partners, airlines on the Southern Cross Route are:

Airline Destination in Oceania Intermediate Stop Destination in Europe
Air Canada Melbourne,[9][10] Sydney, Brisbane Vancouver Frankfurt, London-Heathrow, Paris-CDG, Zurich
Air France Papeete Los Angeles Paris-CDG
American Airlines Sydney, Auckland, Christchurch Los Angeles London-Heathrow
Dallas/Fort Worth (Auckland only) Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt, London-Heathrow, Madrid, Munich, Paris-CDG, Rome
Delta Air Lines Sydney Los Angeles Amsterdam, Paris-CDG
Air Tahiti Nui Papeete Los Angeles Paris-CDG
French Bee Papeete San Francisco Paris-Orly
LATAM Chile Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney
Santiago Frankfurt, Madrid
United Airlines Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Papeete Los Angeles (Melbourne and Sydney only) London-Heathrow
San Francisco Amsterdam,[11] Dublin, (begins June 5, 2020) Frankfurt, London-Heathrow, Munich, Paris-CDG, Zurich
Houston-Intercontinental (Sydney only)[12] Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London-Heathrow, Munich, Paris-CDG

See also


  1. ^ "GIANT AIRLINER ON PIONEERS' TRACKS". The Sun. No. 12, 186. New South Wales, Australia. 16 February 1949. p. 10 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved 23 January 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ "Huge Airliner to Fly Across to Vancouver". The Canberra Times. Vol. 23, no. 6822. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 17 February 1949. p. 3. Retrieved 23 January 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ "Exchange Of Air Routes In New Agreement". The Canberra Times. Vol. 31, no. 9, 293. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 7 October 1957. p. 5. Retrieved 23 January 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ a b Rimmer, Peter J. (2005). "Australia Through the Prism of Qantas: Distance Makes a Comeback" (PDF). Otemon Journal of Australian Studies. 31. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  5. ^ "QANTAS Airways celebrates 60 years of flying to the United States". World Airline News. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  6. ^ "London to Perth: Everything you need to know about the first non-stop flights from Britain to Australia". The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  7. ^ Annual report by the Minister for Civil Aviation for year 1966-67 (Report). Commonwealth Government Printer. 1967. p. 12. Retrieved 23 January 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "Air New Zealand to axe London flights after 36 years". Stuff. 22 October 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Air Canada to fly Melbourne-Vancouver from December". Executive Traveller.
  10. ^ "Air Canada To Launch New International Boeing 787 Dreamliner Routes from Vancouver and Torontopublisher=Air Canada". Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  11. ^ "United adds 3 new European destinations". SFGate. 30 August 2018.
  12. ^ "United adds Houston – Sydney service from Jan 2018". Routes. 7 September 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2022.