Qantas unveils new Asia approach

Qantas unveils new Asia approach
By admin

Qantas will axe its Adelaide-Singapore and Perth-Hong Kong services under a new plan to restructure its Asian network from March 31, the start date of its proposed tie-up with Emirates.

Perth-Hong Kong will cease on March 31 while Adelaide-Singapore will end on April 14.

From April 15, the carrier will also reduce its Perth-Singapore service to once daily, while increasing its Brisbane-Hong Kong service from four times weekly to five from May 6, further upping it to daily from June 24. It will also add four new Sydney-Singapore flights from March 31, to rise to daily from June 24.

As a result of the changes, Hong Kong capacity on the Qantas network will increase by 10%, while that to Singapore will grow 40%. Flights into both hubs and Bangkok will be brought forward with the earlier arrival times to increase the number of onward connections.

Chief executive of Qantas International, Simon Hickey, said Asia remains a "key pillar" of its strategy.

"Our first step has been to restructure existing services to Asia now that they are no longer tied to onward links to Europe," he said. "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."

Hickey highlighted the joint Qantas-Emirates network into Asia as offfering Qantas customers "a fresh set of options" including double daily services to Singapore from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and access to onward destinations in Jetstar's "maturing network".

The next part of the four phase plan will see the airline enhance its customer experience with improvements to cabin, in-flight entertainment and lounges. The third phase will see it attempt to expand its network within Asia through local partners such as Japan Airlines, China Eastern, Jet Airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines.

Finally, it will investigate increasing the number of Asian destinations served by its Boeing 787-9 options from 2016, which it believes will coincide with the "turnaround of Qantas International". Destinations under consideration include Beijing, Seoul, Mumbai, Delhi and Tokyo-Haneda.

Meanwhile, the airline also confirmed it will bring forward the end date of its "loss-making" Frankfurt services by six months to April 15.

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