The revised timetable, being released to travel agents and onto Qantas.com this week, shows a new daily Melbourne-Singapore flight (QF35/36) on a Boeing 747-400.
It will leave Melbourne at 1.40pm for arrival into Singapore at 7.20pm, with the return leg departing Singapore at 9.35pm to reach Melbourne at 6.55am.
This will fill in for the current Melbourne-Singapore-London (QF9/10) A380 flight, which as of March 31 will be rerouted via Dubai.
While the Sydney-Adelaide-Singapore QF81/82 A330 service remains in place for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Qantas will add a direct Sydney-Singapore service using the same flight numbers on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
That one's wheels up from Sydney at a bright and breezy 9.40am, to get you into Singapore at 4pm – ample time to hit your hotel, freshen up and head out to pre-dinner drinks.
The rebound takes off from Singapore at 8.15pm and will see you back on Sydney soil (or at least tarmac) at 6.05am.
Sydney gets the Singapore sling?
However, unless there are more announcements to come, once the daily Sydney-Singapore-Frankfurt service ends in October 2013 this four-times-weekly QF81/82 service will be the only direct Sydney-Singapore flight.
That will leave business travellers without the daily frequency they desire for planning their schedules, and rob them of the option to bump back to the next day's flight at the last minute when their schedule goes awry.
In comparison, Singapore Airlines has four daily Sydney-Singapore flights with two of those on the A380.
"Fewer flights but more seats" says Qantas
While the updated timetable sees fewer flights from Sydney to Singapore – down from 14 to 11 due to the diversion of the London-bound A380 service to Dubai – Qantas says it will still be "offering more dedicated seats to passengers on this route from 31 March as the flights will no longer be operating through to London."
"Qantas expects to increase total seats on the route by approximately 40% once further changes are finalised following receipt of regulatory authorisation" a spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller.
Still on the schedule:
- the daily Brisbane-Singapore-London (QF51/52) Boeing 747, which is codeshared with British Airways on the leg to London
- the daily Sydney-Singapore-Frankfurt (QF5/6) Boeing 747 service, although this will close in October 2013
- the double daily Perth-Singapore flights (QF71/72, QF77/QF78) on an Airbus A330
As previously reported, Qantas believes business travellers will be better served by Singapore being treated as a destination in its own right rather than a transit stop on the Kangaroo Route.
Other changes planned for Singapore include the closure of Qantas' dedicated first class lounge, leaving only a business lounge at Changi Airport for Qantas business class travellers as well as Platinum and Gold frequent flyers.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.