Qantas to return to Changi for Sydney-London flights
SINGAPORE, Aug 31 — Australian national carrier Qantas Airways will be making Changi Airport its largest hub outside of Australia, five years after pulling out from the Republic in favour of using Dubai as a stopover for its popular Australia-Europe flights.
The key changes will kick in from March 25, 2018, when Qantas reroutes its daily Sydney-London A380 service to go via Singapore instead of Dubai, the airline announced today.
Qantas will also increase its Melbourne-Singapore flights from 10 per week to 14, and upgrade one of the daily flights on this route from an A330 plane to the bigger A380.
“This development secures Changi Airport as the most connected international airport to Australia, both in terms of the number of city links and seats, and strengthens our position as the region’s leading air hub,” Changi Airport Group’s managing director for air hub development, Lim Ching Kiat, said in a separate statement.
Including flights from Brisbane and Perth that fly to Singapore, Qantas will operate 49 weekly services in total from Singapore to Australia and London, with a total of over 17,600 one-way seats each week.
The additional services will add 3,806 one-way seats on Singapore-Australia routes every week, while an additional 3,388 one-way seats will be added on the Singapore-UK routes weekly.
These changes are part of its plans to cater to growing demand in Asia, the Australian carrier said. Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce told the media via a teleconference that the changes will also help the airline’s freight business.
“The A380s — both out of Melbourne and Sydney to Singapore — that is a stronger freight market than Dubai, so the amount of benefit here is driven by freight,” Joyce said.
Qantas will also be extending its partnership with Emirates for another five years, details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.
“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,” Joyce was quoted saying in the Qantas statement announcing the changes.
Every year, more than 5.5 million passengers travel between Singapore and Australia, making the country one of Changi Airport’s top five country markets in terms of passenger traffic.
Passenger traffic between the two countries rose 3.6 per cent year-on-year to 3.3 million for the first seven months of 2017, Changi Airport Group said. During this period, Sydney and Melbourne were Changi’s 10th and 11th busiest routes respectively. — TODAY