FOR several years, you have been able to board a (four-engined) Qantas plane just south of Manchester and get off 24 hours later just south of Sydney. From 30 October, Qantas flight QF10 will still appear in the timetable as a daily service between Manchester and Australia. But passengers checking in for the service will find that instead of boarding a Qantas 747, they travel on a British Airways 737, which hops down to Heathrow where passengers transfer to a Qantas jumbo.

'Code-sharing', whereby two airlines combine services under a single flight number, is increasingly common. But anyone hoping to settle into a seat at Manchester and emerge a day later in Australia might be miffed to discover that a change of plane (and airline) is required after only half an hour in the air.