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I am curious what is the fastest option to fly from London (UK) to Sydney (Australia). Basically I want to spend less time getting from A to B.

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    If "shortest" means "least total travel time, including layovers", then this is easily answered with any flight search engine that lets you sort by duration (Kayak, for instance). – Nate Eldredge May 7 '17 at 15:00
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    The fastest would be to sit in the back of an RAF fast jet being ferried to SYD – Calchas May 10 '17 at 12:14
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    @Calchas Presumably the front would get there slightly faster. – Spehro Pefhany May 10 '17 at 16:46
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    One of the expectations of StackExchange is that you demonstrate your initial research on a question. Surely, it is a trivial matter to search for flights on any of the various flight search engines and compare results. – choster May 10 '17 at 21:27
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    Do we have already a question "How can I find out the fastest route between two locations?". If not, I think the question is valid, especially if you don't know that specific flight engines exist and how to use them. – Thorsten S. May 10 '17 at 21:28
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Shortest duration is London to Bangkok to Sydney which comes in at 20 1/2 hours, plus connection time in practice. This is only a tiny bit shorter than via Hanoi (20:40) or Saigon (20:50). The connection time will vary depending on the schedule that day but expect a minimum of 45mins to an hour that is dependent on airline policy for a particular airport.

Flight Duration by Stop-Over City

Thai Airways does the route themselves but you can also use two airlines such as Thai, Emirates or Qantas for the LHR-BKK segment and Thai, EVA or BA for the BKK-SYD segment.

You can get the distances from Great Circle Mapper which totals at 17,091km. This is extremely direct as the distance between London and Sydney is 17,016km.

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    The website flightconnections.com is good for this sort of search. Given two cities, the site will provide you a list of cities that connect them, along with the airlines that serve each leg, and a total flight time rounded off to the nearest five minutes. (Connection time is not included, alas.) – Michael Seifert May 7 '17 at 13:22
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    @ruedi I don't see how it can be: the direct, great-circle route is 17,016km, and the only way to get shorter than that is to make a hole in the planet and fly through it. – MadHatter May 8 '17 at 7:03
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    @ZackAltman That can change month-to-month as schedules are adjusted. – Johns-305 May 8 '17 at 12:14
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    @MadHatter: By my calculations, even if you go straight through, it's still 12385 km. So apparently Abu Dhabi is some sort of non-Euclidean wormhole in space. – Nate Eldredge May 10 '17 at 14:06
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    @NateEldredge nicely observed! And I must say I've always suspected something of the sort about the UAE; I'm guessing the "missing mass" of the universe is sand. – MadHatter May 10 '17 at 14:45
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Actually this shouldn't be to hard to find. Google flights makes it easy for you to see duration of your entire journey as well as each individual flight and the stopover time. (as well as many other flight booking engines)

Here you are.

Shortest flights are around 22h30m but you can save +100USD by choosing a journey that takes 25 minutes more. Off course that is on the dates I picked randomly and true today but will probably be different in a few hours/days as well as for other dates.

Stops on the shortest routes are either Dubai (DXB), Singapore (SIN) or Bangkok (BKK).

I included a screenshot of the search result with google flights. The list is sorted by duration (shortest first). The complete list is longer but I needed to zoom out to a level that made the results unreadable to be able to include the complete result.

Google flight results sorted by duration

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  • You're right, I added a screenshot. – DiscoFever May 10 '17 at 12:39
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    Note that the connection time will vary significantly depending on the airlines' specific flight schedules, which vary from day to day and week to week. For example, if you search for LHR–SYD flights on 6/7 (one week later than your search), you find a 22h05m itinerary on China Southern with a connection in Guangzhou. The OP will need to perform their own search based on what flight dates are acceptable to them; but the general technique you suggest here should work just fine. – Michael Seifert May 10 '17 at 14:20
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    Travel time can also change after booking. – Johns-305 May 10 '17 at 14:56
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    BTW many airlines now add a "padding" to the timetable to be more "on time" so probably real flight time could differ from the declared one... – Vladislav Protasov May 11 '17 at 13:30
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As of March 2018, the quickest route between London and Sydney is now via Perth, as it is approximately 5-10 minutes quicker than the previous fastest link between Singapore and Bangkok.

However this difference is due to a shorter stopover as in pure flight time Bangkok comes out ahead with 20h 15m in the air versus 20h 45m for Singapore and 20h 50m for Perth.

It is possible that on a given day either of these two might beat coming via Perth if the stopover time is reduced, and Qantas is currently ahead purely because they probably have customers wanting to fly LHR-SYD as one of their key use cases to optimize for.

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Answer to the current version of the question:

The shortest duration will can change regularly as the airlines adjust schedules. So this is only really answerable by knowing the exact travel dates and what the OP counts as duration, flight time/travel time/connection time, etc.

Answer to the previous version of the question:

If you are asking about the Kangaroo Route specifically, which means operated and trademarked by Qantas, the shortest route right now, and for the foreseeable future, will be QF1 LHR-DXB-SYD.

There are shorter routings available, such as LHR-HKG-SYD, which is only 1 Nautical Mile longer than a direct route.

Note, the upcoming LHR-PER-SYD may become a contender, at least for convenience, to most of Australia.

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    Let's avoid useless bickering. I've removed your statement about the quality of your answer and upvoted it as I think it's valid, even if the terminology is disputed. All other comments were moved to chat. – JonathanReez May 9 '17 at 13:20
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    I downvoted for rudeness. Fix that, and I'll undownvote. – Andrew Grimm May 10 '17 at 10:25

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