QANTAS is restructuring its Asian network as its partnership with Emirates gears up for take off soon (TTG Asia e-Daily, January 17, 2013).
Qantas International CEO, Simon Hickey, said: “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.”
Among the key changes, which will be implemented from March 31 onwards, include 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; 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; as well as featuring Kuala Lumpur as a new destination via the combined Qantas-Emirates network.
Twice-daily Perth-Singapore services will be reduced to once per day from April 15, while Adelaide-Singapore services and Perth-Hong Kong services will cease from April 14 and March 31 respectively.
By June 24, Qantas will increase its Brisbane-Hong Kong flights from four to seven a week and ramp up frequency on the Sydney-Singapore route from thrice-weekly to daily.
Qantas will also look at expanding its Asian network using the Qantas Group’s B787-9 options from 2016. Direct destinations under consideration include Beijing, Seoul, Mumbai, Delhi and Tokyo-Haneda.
Following a A$9 million (US$9.4 million) investment, the new Qantas lounge in Singapore will open on March 31 and the new Hong Kong First lounge is scheduled to launch this September. The carrier is also examining a refresh of its international A330 fleet to include a lie-flat bed in Business Class.
Meanwhile, Qantas has also brought forward the end date for its loss-making Frankfurt services by six months to April 15.