QANTAS Airways (Sydney) today announced a series of improvements to its international network, as part of a phased approach aimed at delivering the best offering of any airline flying between Australia and Asia.
The improvements – the first of which take effect from March 31, 2013 – will be rolled out in four phases and go towards the QANTAS Group strategy of ‘growing with Asia’. The planned phases are:
– Stronger links to the key hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong (better frequency and timings as well as increased dedicated capacity)
– Enhanced customer experience (improvements to cabin, in-flight entertainment, lounges)
– Expanded network within Asia through local partners (such as Japan Airlines, China Eastern, Jet Airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines)
– Investigating an increase in destinations to Asia using the QANTAS Group’s Boeing 787-9 options from 2016, coinciding with the turnaround of QANTAS International (direct destinations under consideration include Beijing, Seoul, Mumbai, Delhi and Tokyo-Haneda).
The new QANTAS lounge in Singapore will open on March 31 and the new Hong Kong First lounge is scheduled to open this September. A total of $9 million has been invested in the upgrades.
QANTAS is also examining a refresh of its international A330 fleet to include a lie-flat bed in Business Class.
Chief Executive Officer of QANTAS International, Simon Hickey, said Asia remained a key pillar of the goal to be the best for global travellers.
“Through a combination of QANTAS, Jetstar and our partners we aim to provide the best travel options between Australia and Asia, all linked to one of the world’s leading frequent flyer programs,” said Mr Hickey.
“Our first step has been to restructure existing services to Asia now that they are no longer tied to onward links to Europe. 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,” Mr Hickey added.
Key among the changes in the first phase of improving the Asia network, which will apply from today for travel after March 31, are:
– Better access to the key Asian hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore, with a dedicated capacity increase of around 10 per cent and 40 per cent respectively on the Qantas network plus extended capacity on the QANTAS-Emirates network
– Earlier arrival times into Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore, with flights brought forward by up to three hours to increase the number of onward connections
– A new destination – Kuala Lumpur – available to QANTAS customers via the combined QANTAS-Emirates network.
The QANTAS-Emirates partnership remains subject to government and regulatory approval.
As part of schedule changes made today, QANTAS is reducing its Perth-Singapore services to one per day and ceasing its Adelaide-Singapore and Perth-Hong Kong services. However, QANTAS will increase its Brisbane-Hong Kong service from four per week to seven and add four additional Sydney-Singapore services per week (increasing to daily from June).
Qantas has also brought forward the end date for its loss-making Frankfurt services by six months to April 15, 2013.
Passengers impacted by schedule changes will be contacted by the airline and offered alternative services.
|ROUTE||CHANGE||STARTS||Old dept/ arrival times (24hrs)||New dept/ arrival times (24hrs)|
|Melbourne–Hong Kong||QF29 Melbourne-Hong Kong retimed to better connect to onward flights within Asia.||31 March 2013||1330 / 2100||0935 / 1710|
|Sydney–Hong Kong||QF127 Sydney-Hong Kong retimed. Services reduce from 11 per week to 7 per week (removal of QF87/88 Sydney-Hong Kong).||31 March 2013||1040 / 1745||0955 / 1725|
|Brisbane–Hong Kong||QF97/98 Brisbane-Hong Kong increased from four flights per week to five in May and to daily in June. All services retimed from 31 March 2013 to better connect to onward flights within Asia.||6 May 2013; 24 June 2013||1100 / 1755||1020 / 1725|
|Perth–Hong Kong||QF67/68 Perth-Hong Kong ceases to operate.||31 March 2013|
|Perth–Singapore||QF77/78 Perth-Singapore services move from double daily to daily. QF77 retimed to better connect to onward flights in Asia, and the return of QF78 arriving back in Perth on the same day at 2320.||15 April 2013||1155 / 1725||0950 / 1520|
|Brisbane–Singapore||QF51 Brisbane-Singapore retimed to better connect with onward flights.||15 April 2013||1340 / 1925||1020 / 1605|
|Sydney–Bangkok||QF23 Sydney-Bangkok retimed to better connect to onward flights within Asia.||31 March 2013||1215 / 1850||0940 / 1635|
|Sydney–Singapore*||Four new services per week, timed to better connect to onward flights within Asia, increasing to daily from June.||31 March 2013; 24 June 2013||0940 / 1600|
|Melbourne–Singapore*||Dedicated Singapore service QF35, seven times a week. Timed to connect better to onward flights within Asia.||15 April 2013||1340 / 1920||1000 / 1555|
|Adelaide-Singapore||QF81/82 Adelaide-Singapore ceases to operate.||14 April 2013||–||–|
|JOINT QANTAS-EMIRATES SERVICES**||Dept/ Arrival time|
|Melbourne–Singapore||Qantas codeshare on EK405 daily service from Melbourne to Singapore||1800 / 2350|
|Brisbane–Singapore||Qantas codeshare on EK433 daily service from Brisbane to Singapore||0230 / 0815|
|Sydney–Bangkok||Qantas codeshare on EK419 daily service from Sydney to Bangkok||1845 / 0110|
|Melbourne–Kuala Lumpur||Qantas codeshare on EK409 daily service from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur||0240 / 0845|
*As announced on 4 October 2012
** Subject to regulatory approval
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-303 VH-QPA (msn 553) arrives at Singapore.