Australian carrier, Qantas Airways has confirmed it will boost its schedules on flights to Hong Kong and Singapore from next month to meet growing demand from both business and leisure carriers into these key international markets. The new flights will be introduced on the Sydney - Hong Kong and Perth - Singapore routes and will be facilitated by furthering its strategy on fleet utilisation.
In the Perth – Singapore market, Qantas will add a Tuesday and Thursday service on a year round basis, using a Boeing 737-800. This will take the operation from five per week to daily with the additional services beginning from December 1, 2015.
Meanwhile, Qantas will operate a second service on a Friday between Sydney and Hong Kong from December 11, 2015 to March 23, 2015, taking the operation from 11 to 12 services per week, and offering double daily flights on Monday to Friday. A combination of refurbished Boeing 747 and Airbus 330 aircraft will operate this route, with selected services during Christmas and the Lunar New Year being upgauged to an A380 during these peak times.
“We’re seeing Australian companies continue to expand their business in Asia, while the lower dollar is making Australia an even more attractive place to visit,” said Gareth Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Qantas International.
“It’s about being agile to adjust to changes in the market where it’s needed – and we’re able to do that by maximising the utilisation of our large, varied fleet. Because this growth is coming from increased fleet utilisation, it is a very cost efficient way to meet that rising demand,” he added.
The Sydney - Hong Kong market is a busy trade corridor for both business travellers and holidaymakers and Qantas’ growth will enable it to offer a better schedule to its passengers. It currently serves the market alongside Cathay Pacific Airways, which offers an enhanced frequency of four daily rotations on the route using a mix of A330 and 777 equipment. Sabre demand data shows a market of around 2,500 passengers per day on this route during the first six months of this year.
The Perth - Singapore route has been a success story since Qantas resumed flights in June this year and said the fantastic backing from communities at either end of the route means the time is right to move to a daily year round operation.
The airline had served the market up until last summer but closed the route due to increasing competition from low-cost carriers (Scoot and Tiger Airways) and had started used its Jetstar Airways operation to better serve the demand. However, it resumed flights in June 2015 and now operates alongside Jetstar Asia, Scoot and Singapore Airlines on the city pair, a market of around 2,400 passengers per day during the first six months of this year.
“Asia is a strategic priority for Qantas and we’re going to continue to support Australia’s growth in the region by maximising our fleet, deepening our partnerships, and offering what we believe is the best premium service in the market,” added Evans.