Qantas ditches Dubai for Singapore
Qantas is ditching Dubai and returning to Singapore for its flights to London in a dramatic turnaround.
The airline announced this morning it is applying to extend its partnership with Emirates for another five years in a move that will see flying kangaroo switch its Sydney to London A380 service from Dubai to Singapore to capitalise on the fast-growing Asian market.
The new deal will see Australia’s national airline re-route its Sydney to London A380 service via Singapore and upgrade its existing Melbourne to Singapore flight from an A330 to an A380 from March 25.
The renewal is subject to regulatory approval but will give Qantas passengers the choice of hubbing through Perth, Singapore or Dubai with Emirates on trips to Europe.
Perth passengers will be able to fly non-stop to London on the Qantas 787 from March or via Singapore to connect with the Qantas A380 or to Europe on a code-share flight with Emirates via Dubai.
Qantas had already announced that it was replacing its Melbourne to Dubai to London service with its ultra-long-haul Melbourne to Perth to London Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights.
Qantas passengers will still be able to fly to Europe via Dubai using Emirates’ 77 weekly services to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne Perth and Sydney. These include seven daily A380 flights.
Qantas said the changes would give it an estimated annualised net benefit of more than $A80 million from the 2019 financial year.
The heads of both airlines lauded the partnership as a success in its first five years.
“Our partnership has evolved to a point where Qantas no longer needs to fly its own aircraft through Dubai, and that means we can redirect some of our A380 flying into Singapore and meet the strong demand we’re seeing in Asia,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement.
“Improvements in aircraft technology mean the Qantas network will eventually feature a handful of direct routes between Australia and Europe, but this will never overtake the sheer number of destinations served by Emirates and that’s why Dubai will remain an important hub for our customers.”
Emirates president Tim Clark said the Dubai carrier had worked with Qantas on the network changes.
“We see an opportunity to offer customers an even stronger product proposition for travel to Dubai, and onward connectivity to our extensive network in Europe, Middle East and Africa,” he said.