Starting March 25 next year, Australian carrier Qantas will use Singapore as the stopover of its Sydney to London flights, which is serviced by its A380 jets (Dubai is the current stopover for the route). Experts say that this was most probably a response to passengers’ preference for an Asian city as a stopover over a Middle East one.
Changi Airport welcomed the announcement. In an interview with The Straits Times, the airport’s managing director Lim Ching Kiat says, “This development secures Changi Airport as the most connected international airport to Australia, in terms of the number of both city links and seats, and strengthens our position as the region’s leading air hub.”
Qantas announced this change as the company prepares to extend its partnership with Dubai-based carrier Emirates for another five years. According to ABC News, Qantas will have to seek approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) before it can finalize its partnership with Emirates.
The partnership is expected to bring Qantas an annualized net benefit of more than US$63,000,000 starting from financial year 2019.
On the other hand, passengers from Perth can travel direct to London starting from March 24, 2018.
Below is the confirmed schedule:
Meanwhile, Qantas will continue to offer its Singapore to Sydney route, and it will upgrade its 10 times a week Melbourne-Singapore flights to a twice a day service that will use a combination of A380 and A330 jets. The airline’s A380 jets will have a massive overhaul starting in the second quarter of 2019 where the aircraft will have new business class and premium economy seats, a new first cabin and new cushions and fabrics in the economy section.
Emirates and Qantas’ representatives met in Sydney to finalize the extension of their partnership, where each of them highlighted that the joint network would serve their customers better.
Says Qantas’ Group chief executive officer Alan Joyce “Our partnership [with Emirates] 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.”
Sir Tim Clark, the president of Emirates says, “Emirates has been working with Qantas on network adjustments. 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. We will announce updates in the coming weeks.”