Qantas to cease Singapore-London services

Picture courtesy flickr.com

Qantas will cease flying to London from Singapore from March 31, 2013. The Australian flag-carrier will instead code-share with British Airways to provide the connections for its passengers travelling from Australia via Singapore.

This is one of the route adjustments announced by Qantas following its partnership with Emirates Airlines. Qantas flights on the kangaroo route (Sydney/Melbourne-Singapore-London) will be re-routed via Dubai. Qantas services to Frankfurt will continue until October 2013.

CEO of Qantas International, Simon Hickey, said: “The proposed partnership with Emirates will offer Qantas customers one-stop access to more than 30 destinations in Europe compared with the five we offer now. The benefits for the travelling public are clear and feedback we’ve had since the Emirates partnership was announced has been overwhelmingly positive.

Singapore Changi Airport is the hardest hit Qantas’ adjusted schedules, which shows how geographical advantages can shift in a constantly changing economic environment. The Middle East used to be where flights from Australia and East Asia made technical stops en route to European destinations – those were the days that saw the popularity of airports such as Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. The mill-run also favoured Singapore as the preferred stop before or after a Middle East call.

However, Qantas will maintain direct services from Australia to Singapore, in fact adding four new weekly services. For now, Changi Airport will be Qantas’ hub for flights connecting across Asia.

Singapore’s continuing popularity will depend on its competitive positioning. Much also depends on the island republic’s attractiveness as a destination in itself. Interestingly, Singapore Airlines and subsidiary regional carrier SilkAir together with Changi Airport Group are offering value-packed holiday deals that are priced lower than last year’s offer to encourage more stopover traffic.

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About David Leo
David Leo has more than 30 years of aviation experience, having served in senior management in one of the world's best airlines and airports. He continues to maintain a keen interest in the business, writes freelance and provides consultancy services in the field.

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