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Qantas adds new flights to Singapore

By David Flynn     Filed under: emirates, qantas, Singapore

Qantas will add new flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Singapore from March 31 next year when the airline shifts its European hub to Dubai under the Qantas-Emirates alliance.

The revised timetable, being released to travel agents and onto 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.

Read: What the Qantas-Emirates alliance means for London and UK travel

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.

Want the latest news and updates for business travellers and frequent flyers? Then you'll want to follow us on Twitter: we're @AusBT.


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.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 4/10/12 by AusFlyer

So if I read the article right... Sydney to Singapore non-stop will no longer be daily but will only be four times a week with the other flights going via Adelaide. Not sure that sounds right... but if it is then it's a big backwards step for Sydney passengers to Singapore and goes against the comment "business travellers will be better served by Singapore being treated as a destination in its own right...". Let's hope there are more fight annoucements to Singapore to come....

1 on 4/10/12 by DrTGanguly

I'm going to take a guess here that when FRA flights wind up at least one of the 3 747's currently used on that route will remain (possibly as QF 5/6 to do a daily afternoon flight to SIN with the 4x weekly morning flight as the 'additional' flight. The other option may be to offer the BA SIN-SYD flight as a code share, if only on the leg to SIN to help provide capacity.  I also hope that the PER flights are retimed ....

2 on 4/10/12 by David

Yep, that's correct - as we note, the current timetable indicates the only direct Sydney-Singapore service will be limited to four days per week once Sydney-Singapore-Frankfurt disappears in October – again, this isn't allowing for additional services which may be TBA...

1 on 4/10/12 by AusFlyer

So my guess is everyone will try to get onto the current QF5/6 because it's a 747 with hopefully the A380 seats in them. The other flights are A330 with the original Skybeds.

I can't say people will be too happy with the product choices on these flights... especially since they will be used to the A380. It's quite disappointing actually.

1 on 4/10/12 by David

That'd certainly be my pick, especially for the overnighter from Singapore to Sydney (the timing of the direct SYD-SIN QF81is much more to my liking, however, and I tend to work on daytime flights anyway). Once this all shakes out in the lead-up to 1/4/13 ('QF-EK Day') we'll of course put together a report on the best flight options for business travellers.

2 on 4/10/12 by nix584

Is this a new flight? "the daily Brisbane-Singapore-London (QF51/52) Boeing 747, which is codeshared with British Airways on the leg to London"

QF51/52 is currently only BNE-SIN-BNE. I don't recall there ever being a tag on to LHR from BNE.

1 on 4/10/12 by David

QF PR confirmed it's BNE-SIN-LHR "with Qantas doing the first leg and then a BA codeshare onto London".

1 on 5/10/12 by Longreach

Do you mean a Qantas aircraft BNE-SIN followed by a change to a BA 747? 

1 on 5/10/12 by David

Yes, this is QF metal from Brisbane to Singapore, and then BA from Singapore to London.

1 on 5/10/12 by AndrewYes

Will the Brisbane flight be retimed?

3 on 4/10/12 by songman

Are the SIN-PER flights being retimed? QF72's 0455 arrival in Perth is absolutely horrendus. 

4 on 4/10/12 by DrTGanguly

Interesting to note is showing the new config. 747 for the 35/36 flight. That then begs the question, what about SYD-SIN flights. Unless QF are going to refurb more 747s are they really going to give a reconfigured 747 to melbourne and not SYD. If both get them are they doing more reconfigs or taking them from other routes....

It's also worth noting that a few weeks ago AJ announced the introduction of new product to the A330s as a possibility.....

1 on 5/10/12 by AusFlyer

The reconfigured 747's are meant to be on the SYD - SIN - FRA route so they will definitely be used for that... The additional SYD - SIN route is using an A330 so there is no risk of the refurbished 747's going there. I just hope that they refurbish some of the A330's otherwise everyone is going to be vying for the QF5/6 flights or moving to SQ!

1 on 7/10/12 by DrTGanguly

Actually I dont think the reconfigured 747s were ever going to be on the SYD-SIN-FRA route.  9 have been done (2X for SYD-LAX-JFK, 2X for BNE-LAX, 2x for SYD-JNB, 1x for SYD-SCL, 1x BNE-SIN, 1x MEL-SIN) with a fairly full schedule that doesnt even really leave a spare fore maintnance.  The 12 A380s (3x SYD-LHR, 3x MEL-LHR, 2x MEL-LAX, 2x SYD-LAX, 1x SYD-HKG)  are essentially fully utilised, especially given the reconfig program and the anticipated maintenance for the wings.As it currenty stands several of the older 747s will be required to maintain the daily SYD-NRT 747 flight and even just the SYD-SIN component of the QF5/6 route.  One option may be that with 12 A380s available for use next year QF may consider an A380 for the afternoon SYD-SIN flight.  However, short of that in order to maintain their current flight schedule without reducing the likes of SYD-NRT and SYD-SIn to A330 operations they will need to keep some of the older 747s in 3 class configuration, or show a bit of faith and redo the cabins to help retain market share.  In reality to compete with SQ I think they at least need to consider a 1x daily A380 SYD-SIN, and have the A330 flight as a daytime on the way back.

5 on 4/10/12 by TheRealBabushka

I do not understand why Qantas is not offering a midnight/early morning flight out of MEL even though that airport has no curfew. Do business travellers really enjoy wasting their day on a daytime flight when the alternative is a full day's work, sleep on the plane and arrive bright and early in Singapore for another full day?

For the leisure market, arriving in SIN early morning also allows for more connections with 3K/VF to Asia.

 What is Qantas doing?

1 on 5/10/12 by am

An overnight flight out of Australia means a day flight returning from Asia, unless they leave the aircraft sitting in Singapore all day. Qantas has always favoured day flights out of Australia, with an overnight return (presumably because that's what the majority of travellers prefer).

6 on 4/10/12 by Agfox

I know this is a business travel blog but, as retired leisure travellers now, my wife (with a disability) & I will not use QANTAS for our regular travel from Melbourne to/through Singapore until it provides day flights in both directions. As that seems unlikely to happen any time soon, SIA will remain our airline of choice,

7 on 4/10/12 by Dunc

Now Sydney siders you are starting to feel how Qantas treats their customers in Melbourne and Brisbane, oh and there will be more flights announced, Jetstar!

1 on 4/10/12 by David

Yeah, but we're all still ahead of Hobart :P

2 on 5/10/12 by AndrewYes

Do you think Jetstar will begin to operate to Singapore from other cities?

8 on 5/10/12 by Al

The Red Roo giveth, and the Red Roo taketh away.

9 on 5/10/12 by Rufus

So you can still fly QF/BA from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane (sometimes Adelaide) to LHR and Frankfurt via Singapore.  So other than not having a QF A380, nothign much is changing... 

1 on 5/10/12 by Al

Yes, exactly the same except

* no consistency of product, eg compare QF premium economy to BA premium economy, the QF Y+ is much better

* super-long layover between arrival of flights from Melbourne (7.20pm) and Sydney (4pm) and departure of the BA flights to London, unless you fly on the QF Sydney-Singapore-Frankfurt flight

* inferior business class on the QF A330s compared to the A380s (again, only exception is if you hop the Boeing 747 flight)

Those difference can be quite significant for many passengers. If you want to go from Sydney or Melbourne to London with Qantas then, really, the QF A380 services are your best bet, going via Dubai instead of Singapore makes little difference in the end.

10 on 5/10/12 by AndrewYes

Can you still fly with BA on a Qantas ticket if you still want to connect through Singapore even after the Emirates deal begins?

1 on 6/10/12 by snoopy7787

In Response to Andrew It should be alright to do so.I last went back as a trip in it's own right in 2010 and was seated next to this passenger who was continuing onto London after Singapore on the connecting BA12.We were on the Adelaide to Singapore QF81 together.

11 on 6/10/12 by jlc

I fly QF from SYD to SIN and typically connect through to other Asian cities on other regional airlines. It usually means a night in SIN on the way out. I thought Qantas was going to improve same-day connections via SIN to other Asian cities with its new timetable. Arriving at 16:00 is not much of an improvement and leaves limited options for same day connections. I would have thought an evening service out of SYD to KUL would be a good option for QF. They're meant to be the sponsor for MH into OneWorld (which I thought meant early code-shares). Arriving early into KUL and linking with MH services throughout Asia seems like a good outcome for passengers...


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