BA always intended to operate Concorde on the 'Kangaroo Route' between the UK and Australia.
On entering service in Jan 1976, Concorde was not allowed in US airspace, so AF
went to Rio via Dakar, BA
From May 1976 both carriers started 3xweekly services to IAD
, however the real prize, JFK
was to elude them until November 1977 when a long legal and political battle went in their favour.
With Concordes immediate future now secure, BA
turned again to the far east.
However, it became clear that supercruise, even over the largely deserted expanse of the outback was not going to happen, at least for regular scheduled flights.
But starting in December 1977, BA
started 3xweekly services to SIN
via Bahrain, the aircraft that started this route, G-BOAD, had SIA titles on the left side, BA
on the right, 50% of the cabin crew were SIA, the BAH-SIN
runs had SQ
After 3 flights, the Malaysian government, a bitter bunch it seemed, banned overwater supercruise down the Straits of Malacca.
This had a lot to do with a dispute over LHR
slots, and probably jealousy towards SIA.
After an agreement was worked out, these services resumed in Jan 1979, OAD was the only BA
aircraft to have the SIA livery, though it did not always operate this route.
The route lasted until November 1980, there was a recession, and firstly the Indian government stopped supercruise over sparsely populated areas in the South of the subcontinent, which was not a massive problem.
But in 1980, a UK TV
documentary on the death by execution of a young Saudi Princess, as well as other human rights oppression in the Kingdom, caused a rift with the UK, the Saudis banned supercruise over the largely empty desert en-route to BAH.
Along with the recession, this caused BA
to suspend the service, OAD was soon repainted in full BA
Though years later, around the forward pax door you could still see slight traces of the gold of the SIA cheatline!
One lesson learned from this was the true extent of the range improvement you got 58,000 feet up in the tropics, where at this altitude the air is cooler than on the North Atlantic, increasing engine efficiency and adding several hundred miles to the range, which would later allow non stop LHR
once the CAA had approved it, which did not happen right away, early LHR
-BGIs requiring a tech stop in either SNN
, SMA or LIS
On bi-annual round the world charters, operated until the last in once 1999, Concorde did get to visit Australia.
Some charters ran in series in the mid/late 80s went to BAH-CMB-SIN
and back, though the original target for scheduled BA
Concorde services to Australia back in the 70's was Melbourne.