The improvements are:
- Starting a new route, Perth–Auckland, to be offered on a seasonal basis between early December and the end of January, operated by a Qantas A330 aircraft twice per week.
- Upgrading one return Sydney–Hong Kong service to an Airbus A380 aircraft, increasing the number of A380 return services on this route from four to five per week.
- Increasing frequency to daily on Brisbane–Los Angeles using the aircraft made available by the A380 upgrade on the Hong Kong route.
- Retiming Qantas’ existing Sydney–Christchurch service so that it connects with more international services from Sydney and complements the existing Emirates service on this route.
Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the changes were made possible through schedule optimisation and ongoing transformation efforts within the airline’s international division.
“We’re able to make these changes by simply using our existing assets better,” said Mr Joyce. “For instance, the new seasonal Perth to Auckland service uses an A330 that would otherwise be on the ground over the weekend.
“The Qantas Group is serious about Asia and we’ve already increased capacity to Hong Kong by 10 per cent this year. As well as adding almost five per cent more seats per week on this route, the aircraft swap will increase the amount of flying done by our flagship A380 fleet into Asia.
“Our Brisbane to Los Angeles service is a strong performer and upgrading it to daily will improve the travel options for customers heading to the United States from Queensland, which has great links to our domestic and regional networks.
“All of these network changes also boost the prospects for inbound tourism, particularly in an environment where a falling dollar makes Australia an even more attractive destination,” added Mr Joyce.
Today also marks the first day of the new Qantas and Emirates partnership on the trans-Tasman. Starting today, the two airlines have aligned fares and switched on codesharing on around 130 flights a week between Australia and New Zealand. The schedule change on Sydney-Christchurch and the new Perth-Auckland route are in-part enabled through this partnership.
Mr Joyce added: “At the core of turning around Qantas International is making it the best airline for global travellers. These network changes are brought about through smarter use of our assets and our partners to deliver a truly premium experience service for our customers”.