Qantas is dropping some major Asian services and adding others as it reshapes its operations in the region in line with the carrier’s tie-up with Dubai-based Emirates that commences at the end of March.

The changes will have both a positive and negative effect for the ex-Australian conference market, with Central and Western states the losers and Eastern states the winners.

Adelaide and Perth are the biggest losers in the shake-up, with Qantas’ only international route from the South Australian capital – to Singapore – being axed, while Perth has lost direct Hong Kong flights as well as one of the two daily Singapore flights.

Sydney-Hong Kong flights have been reduced from 11 to 7 per week, while Qantas has also brought forward its axing of flights from Singapore to Frankfurt, Germany, by six months to April 15, 2013.

The good news for travellers is the introduction of new, Melbourne-Singapore direct services, as well as four more Sydney-Singapore flights per week and an additional three services each week from Brisbane to Hong Kong.

In its partnership with Emirates, Qantas will also its codeshare on the UAE carrier’s Melbourne-Singapore, Brisbane-Singapore, Sydney-Bangkok and Melbourne-Kuala Lumpur services.

Lounges are also being upgraded in Singapore and Hong Kong, while a cabin refresh of Qantas’ Airbus A330s – the aircraft primarily used on Asian flying – has also been flagged by the Flying Kangaroo that would see the introduction of the latest-generation SkyBeds in Business Class.

“Our first step has been to restructure existing services to Asia now that they are no longer tied to onward links to Europe,” said the Chief Executive Officer of Qantas International, Simon Hickey.

“The number of dedicated seats on Qantas services to Hong Kong and Singapore is increasing significantly, because capacity previously set aside for customers going to Europe via these hubs can be freed up.

“The joint Qantas-Emirates network into Asia gives our customers a fresh set of options, including double daily services to Singapore from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The maturing Jetstar network gives travellers another set of alternatives once they land in Asia,” Hickey said.

Qantas also revealed it is investigating adding cities in Asian from 2016, when the airline’s options on Boeing 787-9 aircraft become available.

Destinations under consideration include Beijing, Delhi, Mumbai, Seoul and Tokyo-Haneda.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management