Australian flag carrier, Qantas will add more flights between Australia and Hong Kong and the Philippines’ capital, Manila as a result of increasing demand from travellers. An additional five weekly rotations will be introduced across the two routes during the forthcoming northern hemisphere winter schedule.
With effect from October 26, 2015, Qantas will operate an additional four Sydney-Hong Kong services each week, on top of the current daily services available from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Meanwhile, services between Sydney and Manila will increase from four to five per week between early December 2015 and late March 2016 to offer more capacity during the peak holiday season.
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Qantas International chief executive officer, Gareth Evans said the airline was pleased to offer customers more choice to Hong Kong, on a route that is experiencing strong demand from customers and that additional growth could occur subject to available capacity.
“Customers travelling from Sydney will have the choice of double daily flights to Hong Kong on peak days of the week for business travel and we’ll look at expanding beyond that if the opportunity is available,” he said.
The four new Sydney-Hong Kong services will be operated by Qantas’ refurbished A330 aircraft with lie-flat seats in Business and new Economy seats. “We’re pleased to add to the seasonal services we’re set to operate to Asia later this year, with the fifth weekly Manila flight again representing the dynamic nature of our network, which has the flexibility to offer our customers more flights during peak seasons,” added Evans.
The new services have been made possible by Qantas’ continued focus on more efficient use of aircraft across its fleet and follows an additional 140 international services recently announced to operate to Singapore, Jakarta and New Zealand over the upcoming summer holiday season.
Our analysis of Sabre Airport Data Intelligence demand statistics highlights Qantas’ share of the segment demand on the two routes. Qantas currently competes with Cathay Pacific on the Sydney – Hong Kong route and both Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines on Sydney – Manila, with its rivals all offering greater frequencies on the city pairs.
The data shows that Qantas’ two-way traffic on Sydney – Hong Kong has declined from an estimated 332,000 passengers in 2012 to 280,000 in 2013 and 260,000 in 2014. However, this has helped the carrier boost its annual average loads above the 80 per cent figure. Although its share of this market has declined over the past ten years, it grew last year after Virgin Atlantic Airways ended its continuation service on the route to its flights from London Heathrow.
In the Sydney – Manila market, Qantas regained the market leader position (in terms of passenger traffic) in 2014 for the first time since 2008 after overtaking Philippine Airlines. It has boosted its own bi-directional traffic by 32.8 per cent with a third successive year of traffic growth. This helped it boost its marketshare back above the 40 per cent figure in 2014, despite the arrival of Cebu Pacific Air’s long-haul, low-cost flights on the route.