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Qantas confirms Asia core to future

written by WOFA | February 4, 2013

Qantas A330s may receive lie-flat business class seats as part of the renewed push into Asia. (John Absolon)

In what is one of the Qantas Group’s most significant international schedule developments, the airline has unveiled an extensive range of measures aimed at firmly bolstering its position in Asia.

A four-phase strategy includes improved schedules to Hong Kong and Singapore, network expansion with airline partners in Asia, enhanced onboard and ground products, and the possible resumption of services to destinations from which the airline had previously withdrawn – including Beijing, Seoul, Mumbai, Delhi and Tokyo-Haneda – but using more efficient 787-9 aircraft.

Coinciding with the launch of its revised services to London in partnership with Emirates, the renewed push into Asia will begin on March 31. On that day Hong Kong will see a 10 per cent increase in capacity, while Singapore will be boosted by a significant 40 per cent.

Schedule times to Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok have been brought forward to by up to three hours to offer better connections with partner airlines to other Asian destinations (see table below).

On March 31 Qantas will open its new lounge in Singapore.  A new Qantas First lounge will open in Hong Kong in September, with both lounge developments costing $9 million.

The new services make good on undertakings given by Qantas when it announced its proposed partnership with Emirates that it would apply a strong focus to the development of its Asia network.

While the airline considers the potential deployment of its 787-9s to be delivered from 2016, Qantas is also investigating the installation of lie-flat business class seats on its A330 international fleet to complement the Asia strategy.


Qantas International CEO Simon Hickey said Asia remained a central pillar to the airline’s business.

“Our first step has been to restructure existing services to Asia now that they are no longer tied to onward links to Europe,” he added. “The number of dedicated seats on Qantas services to Hong Kong and Singapore is increasing significantly, because capacity previously set aside for customers going to Europe via these hubs can be freed up.

“The joint Qantas-Emirates network into Asia gives our customers a fresh set of options, including double daily services to Singapore from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The maturing Jetstar network gives travellers another set of alternatives once they land in Asia,” Hickey said.

Qantas will codeshare on Emirates services between Singapore, Melbourne and Brisbane, Sydney and Bangkok, and Melbourne-Kuala Lumpur.

However, capacity increases will come at the expense of services connecting Perth and Hong Kong, and between Adelaide and Singapore, both of which will be terminated effective March 31 and April 14 respectively.  Services between Perth and Singapore will be reduced to one a day from April 15.

Finally, the foreshadowed withdrawal from Frankfurt has been brought forward six months to April 15.


Route                                                 Change                                              Effective                New times

Melbourne-Hong Kong                QF29 retimed                                     March 31                  0935/1710
Sydney-Hong Kong                        QF127 retimed                                  March 31                  0955/1725
Brisbane-Hong Kong                     QF97 to daily, re-timed                 May 6 (5x)               1020/1725
June 24 (7x)
Perth-Hong Kong                             Withdrawal                                        March 31

Perth-Singapore                               Reduction, re-timed                      April 15                      0950/1520
Brisbane-Singapore                        Re-timed                                             April 15                      1020/1605
Sydney-Singapore                           Increase to daily,                            From March 31       0940/1600
Melbourne-Singapore                   QF35 nonstop service                    April 15                      0905/1555
Adelaide-Singapore                        Withdrawal                                         April 14

Sydney-Bangkok                              Re-timed                                             March 31                   0940/1635


  • Ron Agnew


    No Qantas International services at all from Adelaide now! Singapore, Malaysian, New Zealand, Cathay, Virgin Australia and Emirates all fly directly out of Adelaide. Qantas has failed by trying to force the flying pulic in South Australia through the East Coast Hubs.

    I am sure the Qantas Domestic Services wil suffer not gain from this dicision, sometimes I think we are not part of Australia in their managements thoughts!

  • Ryan


    We doesn’t Qantas just stop flying to Perth not like us western Asitralian wanted to fly overseas with them or anything, i find it disgusting how qantas just voids Perth, Adelaide and Darwin out of there future expansions. Shame on you Qantas

  • Ron Turnbull


    Qantas International is now a joke in Perth as well as Adelaide. The only international service will be one daily Perth-Singapore service. How can SQ fly up to four services a day to Perth using a mix of B777 and A330 aircraft and QF one A330 service? One would have to suspect bad management and bad marketing. Remember Qantas, it’s easier to keep a customer than get a customer back after losing them…

    Maybe the Qantas board should hold out an olive branch to Geoff Dixon’s group.

  • Steve


    One question that needs to be asked – now that Aussie Dollar is above parity with the Greenback:

    Are QANTAS staff paid more or less than staff at Singapore, Emirates etc, that QANTAS is competing against through both Perth and Adelaide?

    We have heard from a US resources CEO that Australia costs some 30% more to develop a resources project that in the US.

    Unless QANTAS staff are prepared to take the same salaries as their overseas competitors then QANTAS has no option but to trim services to the most profitable routes.

  • Mark Ferraretto


    AA it sounds like you just regurgitated a Qantas press release.

  • Air Observer


    I’ll wager Virgin pick up these routes. Sadly Qantas ditches a route that loses money and Virgin make it a winner. It seems sad that the airline that introduced a huge amount of innovations (such as dedicated business class) to the travelling world, now nervously follow everyone elses lead.

  • Rob


    Can someone at qantas please comment on what its long term plans for Perth are. They are pouring capacity into the FIFO market, but totally withdrawing from the internation market. We have lost flights to Japan, now Hong Kong and looks like Singapore will be next. I only hope we are not insulted with these flights being taken up by Jetstar. A 2.00am flight to Jakarta late last year was enough of them, for some time.
    Makes my 600000 ff points look almost useless unless I am surprised by flights being availble on Emirates

  • Anthony Italiano


    Perth is served with only 1x daily PER-Singapore. For an airport that moves more than +3.5 million (international only) + 10 million passengers and growing at 10%+ year on year on year on year it is just a pathetic JOKE.

    I never thought I would say this about Qantas, but their management is delusional!!!

    I would fly Qantas over South African any day on Johannesburg-Perth, or Qantas over Cathay on PER-HKG which are all heavy premium business traffic routes.

    I have never been on a Qantas A330 into or out of Perth that is not full and that is with a really pathetic service (both marketing of tickets and on board product). Customers and staff joke at the airport check in that Perth is not important enough and is serviced with out of date equipment, and bad scheduling and we have to live with what we get.

    Surprising Emirate is 3x daily, Singapore 4x daily, Cathay 2x daily, Air Asia 5-6x daily.

    Lift your game Qantas, you are failing your wealthy West Australians for the sake of Sydney and Melbourne frequencies which are dying economies.

    Perth to London non-stop would be a game changer if they are really dedicated. It would kill Singapore in their tracks and heck, why not try First Class, I think they would be pleasantly surprised at the take up!

  • Brendan


    It is qantas spin, it also coincides being relased on the day, groups that are against the qantas emirates deal, had their say regarding the deal to the ACCC.
    But you don’t here anything regarding that matter.

  • Rob


    Just tried getting a qf points trip to Hong Kong after 1 april. Surprise, suprise, now 70000 return instead of the usual 50000. Tried for a J seat on points to Singapore, none could be found. How fast things change

  • Luke


    They titled it “network improvements” and in the first point states “better capacity” Qantas have got it all wrong in Perth. When Qantas announced it’s ceasing PER-NRT services back in March 11′, they let our tourism sector fall down the drain with the only Perth-Tokyo direct service we had. Now, with PER-HKG gone, Qantas should have never described it as better capacity or network improvements simply because of reductions and a careless management team at Qantas. The description used above, should be used for the eastern seaboard (SYD/MEL/BNE) since they’re the ones getting increased capacity and improvements.

  • Andy


    Where is premium economy to Asia? Low frequency and no product consistency across the network simply forces regular business travellers to use the competition. Come on AA, how can you think this is Qantas taking Asia seriously, suggest you get out and fly a little more in order to make informed comment.

  • Andy


    Where is premium economy to Asia? Low frequency and no product consistency across the network simply forces regular business travellers to use the competition. Come on AA, how can you think this is Qantas taking Asia seriously..

  • Roger


    Steve are you willing to take a cut in pay like you are suggesting Qantas employees should?

  • Wayne


    There is a word in English: rescheduled. Re-timed is not a word and is impoverished new speak.

  • Patrick Kilby


    What an interesting set of responses!!! Nobody noted that this removes 2 A333s at a time for refurbishment and so when the northern winter schedule comes out with QF both with an extra A380 and 2xA333s (refurbishment finished with both) then it wil be interesting what routes they are put to. Also note QF F Fliers fully catered for by One World CX on Adelaide and Perth, so what is the big deal, beats setting up a new base with associated costs. Most people don’t mind CX and EK as long as the QF benefits apply – much ado about nothing methinks.

  • Dave


    QANTAS – The Spirit of Sydney

  • Russ


    No mention of the return (Asia back to Oz) “re-timings”. Any daylight flights or do they remain all “red-eyes” ?? Looks like the latter so I’ll stick with SIA !!

  • John Harrison


    Well I was going to go on about Qantas and their lack of comittment to Perth, but everyone else before seems to think the same. Also some thing to remember, there is a heck of alot freight goes out of Perth to Singapore and beyond. Lobsters to Asia is huge out of Perth. Believe me SQ have their holds crammed full, more so now Qantas has one flight aday and dropped the Hong Kong flight which always had tonnes of Lobsters on those
    services. Qantas management has very bad eyesight when it comes to Perth. After all that I am really lost for words. No wonder all my friends and relatives use Emitrates and Singapore airlines, in and out of Perth.

  • Marcel Zumbuehl


    Monday 15th April I have a long way to get to Brisbane International Airport. There is no chance for me to be at the airport before 11 am and to catch my flight to Singapore. How do other people cope with those early departure times considering the long distances to get to the airport and through all that traffic and even train delais.

  • Ian Marston


    Well, well, well, “The Flying Kangaroo”, “The Spirit of Australia” and “I call Australia Home”, obviously the people of South Australia, in particular Adelaide don’t get to be considered as part of that. I was once a loyal Qantas customer, that is now history! My last international flight with my son was from Adelaide to San Francisco and return, we flew Air New Zealand, international departure from Adelaide, one brief stop at Auckland, overall a quicker journey and the saving in costs paid for two weeks car hire, we were laughing!

  • Ky


    Well if I was paid what the average QF employee is…. Yes I would consider a pay cut

  • Frequent Flyer


    Perth and Adelaide, what about the entire population of South Eastern NSW who are served by Canberra Airport, a brand new airport with international capacity and not even one international service. If we want to fly overseas, we have to go through the painful experience of Sydney or Melbourne.

  • MaxG


    After a four decades involvement with QF I feel nowadays they are vying with Ford Australia as one of our nation’s worst managed businesses. Do readers realise they have long discarded Auckland/LA, a route that takes most Kiwis (and many from Victoria) to the US and Europe. That has gifted the route traffic to AirNZ while discarding all their NZ based Qantas Club patrons. Also, in another stunning decision Jetstar has abandoned its previously twice daily full A320s on the Christchurch/Brisbane route. What gives. We fly this route at least twice annually and now take Virgin out of Maroochydore to Sydney and onwards with Air NZ. Not what we want to do , guess we are just one of many now forced to NOT fly with Qantas and our Qantas Club membership is getting more pointless by the day. Why, of why?

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