QANTAS Airways (Sydney) added a significant expansion of its presence in Japan with the launch of double daily services between Australia and Tokyo this weekend.
QANTAS flight QF25 departed from Sydney to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on July 31, followed by the departure of QF61 from Brisbane to Narita Airport yesterday (August 1).
QANTAS’ Brisbane-Narita launch flights will be operated by the airline’s refurbished Airbus A330 aircraft, with lie-flat seats in Business, brand new Economy seats and new inflight entertainment.
The refit of these aircraft, which takes one month each, is being done at QANTAS’ heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane. These aircraft are being introduced progressively onto Asian routes.
To celebrate the launch of the new Japan services, customers onboard flights departing to Narita and Haneda and in Qantas International Lounges in Sydney and Brisbane will be treated to Japanese-inspired menus for the first week of August, including Tuna Tataki Nigiri in Business, and Green Tea flavoured Kit Kats in Premium Economy and Economy.
The launch of double daily QANTAS flights to Tokyo follows Jetstar’s introduction of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Melbourne-Narita route earlier this month, increasing the available seats between the two cities by 20 per cent over the next year. The upgrade from Airbus A330 aircraft to the higher capacity Boeing 787 will be complemented by an increase in flights from four to six per week December to March to meet growing demand for flights between Melbourne and Japan in the peak season.
Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. QANTAS Airways Airbus A330-303 VH-QPA (msn 553) with a special “80 Years QANTAS International” emblem lands at Brisbane.
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.
Old dept/ arrival times (24hrs)
New dept/ arrival times (24hrs)
QF29 Melbourne-Hong Kong retimed to better connect to onward flights within Asia.
31 March 2013
1330 / 2100
0935 / 1710
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
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
QF67/68 Perth-Hong Kong ceases to operate.
31 March 2013
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
QF51 Brisbane-Singapore retimed to better connect with onward flights.
15 April 2013
1340 / 1925
1020 / 1605
QF23 Sydney-Bangkok retimed to better connect to onward flights within Asia.
31 March 2013
1215 / 1850
0940 / 1635
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
Dedicated Singapore service QF35, seven times a week. Timed to connect better to onward flights within Asia.
15 April 2013
1340 / 1920
1000 / 1555
QF81/82 Adelaide-Singapore ceases to operate.
14 April 2013
JOINT QANTAS-EMIRATES SERVICES**
Dept/ Arrival time
Qantas codeshare on EK405 daily service from Melbourne to Singapore
1800 / 2350
Qantas codeshare on EK433 daily service from Brisbane to Singapore
0230 / 0815
Qantas codeshare on EK419 daily service from Sydney to Bangkok
1845 / 0110
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.