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Qantas to abandon Perth international flights from May

By Chris Chamberlin     Filed under: qantas, Singapore, Perth Airport

Qantas will close its final international route from Perth this year, leaving the WA capital without a single overseas flight on the Flying Kangaroo.

The QF77/78 service between Perth and Singapore will be axed from May 12 as Qantas seeks to "permanently reduce costs in all parts of the Qantas Group" in the face of a record $252 million loss for the six months from July to December 2013.

Read: Qantas – $252 million loss, 5000 jobs axed, fleet slashed

Qantas will temporarily resurrect QF77/78 from July 3-21 "to cater for additional demand over the peak holiday season."

Qantas described the Perth-Singapore flights as an 'underperforming route' and will hand over all international travel from Australia's resources capital to its partner Emirates.

The Middle Eastern airline has big plans for Perth, with a daily Airbus A380 tipped to take over one of the three daily flights between Perth and Dubai.

Qantas' low-cost offshoots Jetstar and Jetstar Asia will continue to operate Perth-Singapore flights, currently offering three services each day between the two brands.

Meanwhile, competitors Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific will mop up direct full-service flights to Asia with their daily flights to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Both airlines also offer extensive onwards connections to Europe.

Virgin Australia partner Etihad Airways will also commence daily flights between Perth and its Abu Dhabi hub from July 15.

Virgin Australia travellers will be able to book a single ticket from outlying WA cities to fly into Perth with Virgin and then onwards to the rest of the world with Etihad – earning Velocity frequent flyer points and status credits all the way.

“Our analysis shows there is a significant business opportunity on the Perth route" said Etihad Airways’ President James Hogan on the announcement of the first flights.

Hogan also identified a significant new opportunity for revenue growth from the business travel segment, citing that "eighty of the top 300 Australian companies have their headquarters in Perth and many of these have commercial interests in Africa and the Middle East."

"Equally, many UAE businesses have a strong presence in Australia, particularly in the agribusiness, resources and tourism sectors. We anticipate that this will translate to strong demand for our new services."

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About Chris Chamberlin

Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 27/2/14 by nickcirc

I didn't see them say they would kill the "Auckland" seasons route.. 

1 on 28/2/14 by bryce05

I don't think they've said it will be back, either.

2 on 27/2/14 by 521303

When I arrived in Perth 25-years ago, it was the cheapest Australian Capital city to live after Hobert.  Fast forward 25 years and it is now just about the most expensive - with a whole bunch of "cashed up bogans" living here.  If Qantas can't make a buck flying out of Perth, it is indeed doomed!

1 on 27/2/14 by woganfan

Very true.  It is a sad day for Perth and Joyce with what appears to be a personal vendetta against W.A is beginning to grate now.  He canned one of our SIN flights when he misguidedly forced the divorce of BA/QF in favour of a marriage of convenience with EK. This is after he eroded other flights to Japan and Hong Kong.  What is the delusional guy going to do next? Remove the domestic flights and make us fly to Sydney via Dubai?  The guy needs to fall on his sword because he is giving JQ preferential treatment at all costs.

3 on 27/2/14 by maabbot

Qantas cannot make perth but SQ can with 4 flights per day. Qantas has an inferior product and post the Emirates alliance which was to "deliver lots of benefits" they reduced their schedule from 2x to 1x per day.  The underperformance of the route is simply a result of incompetent management. With now only 1 full service airline flying between Perth and Singapore prices will invariably rise.  I think the whole Emirates QF alliance needs to be examined as it simply does not provide any benefit to Perth travelers (or Adelaide). 

 

 

1 on 27/2/14 by Hugo

SQ uses PER-SIN to connect to a zillion other cities, whereas QF pretty much relies on O&D traffic to Singapore. 

1 on 27/2/14 by kampot

Maybe QF was better to launch PER-KUL flights and allow for connections into Asia and Europe with MAS, instead of Singapore with no connections.

1 on 27/2/14 by Hugo

Or maybe leave PER-KUL to Malaysian.

Unless you can fly it with lower costs or higher fares than the other airlines on the route, what's the point of competing? 

1 on 27/2/14 by kampot

I suppose that's a very valid point, but they could use it to provide extra frequencies to KL and allow passengers to connect onto MAS flights, making use of their Oneworld alliance but also I suppose MAS isn't fairing to well either.

4 on 27/2/14 by JBH

I fly QF SIN-PER x6-8 a year I am disgusted with this decision and to think the only alternative is Jetstar - what a joke QF, thanks for the two fingered salute to PER, Asia, and last remaining loyal pax. - my business goes to SQ.

1 on 27/2/14 by woganfan

I agree completely.  Joyce has been sticking two fingers up at us in the west slowly removing all flights.  How can I support an Australian brand internationally when I cannot fly international with them anymore?  CX and Malaysian it has to be for me now.

5 on 27/2/14 by Rocky J

Axing all of the international services out of Perth represents a massive failure of the Alan Joyce and his senior management team. Of course they have had to deal with serious structural issues but they have also made serious strategic and tactical errors about equipment, routes and alliances. If they continue to fumble along they will take what was an excellent airline the tubes.

6 on 27/2/14 by Kogglogs

This decision kinda defies basic logic. Causes me wonder how deep the analysis on this route and its operations was before the decision was made to axe the route completely.

There are many many ways both creative and traditional to reduce OPEX and refine delivery without jumping straight to razor mode. And just at a pure logic level - if SQ can continue make a buck out of this route and EY are sprouting they see significant value in a similar route... how can QF seriously put their hand on their heart and say they've tried everything to make the route proffitable? Doesn't make sense.

7 on 27/2/14 by Drinazz

Isn't this in breach of commitmentsthat QANTAS gave the ACCC when they tied up with Emirates?  They did a sign up to keeping routes

8 on 27/2/14 by B. Andrew

What a joke. How can Qantas expect frequent travellers to consistently get onboard their aircraft and pump $$$ into their coffers when they can't even be bothered to run even a basic international service out of Perth. It's a two way street Alan.

You could have done something clever Alan, like running a long range aircraft on a daily Perth - London service. That would get attention, and bums on seats, but no, let's leave Perth to the competition.

I just don't get it.

 

9 on 27/2/14 by Longreach

Perth, as the fourth-largest city in Australia, may well feel hard done-by, by Qantas, but it does retain several international services provided by Qantas subsidiary Jetstar, while the larger city of Brisbane, the capital of a state with more than twice the population of WA, has just gained its first JQ international flight, to Bali, which is of course of limited utility, and to the discerning is a bargepole destination.

Qantas itself will at present fly you from BNE to SIN, LAX and HKG, and back from Dallas, if you happen to be there - but only because, having abandoned SFO, it is forced to do so as it would undoubtedly love to do, as the aircraft can't quite get Alan home from the US in one leg.

In fact Jetstar serves NSW, Victoria and WA well, while Qantas serves only NSW and Victoria well.

 

1 on 27/2/14 by woganfan

People in Perth rightly feel hard done by qantas and these decisions by Qantas management to scrap all international flights.  They have forced us on to Jetstar which is basically a service for holidays, not for business.  JQ serves a purpose but there is still a market for a full service airline.  This is reflected by how busy the full service airlines are out of Perth. It is a disaster for Perth and Qantas.

1 on 28/2/14 by JBH

Indeed - I work in SIN but I'm from PER and fly this route 6-8 times a year so this decision is annoying to say the least - I could handle the drop from x2 daily to 1 but this is the last straw especially when I think of de-valuing as a QF Plat. 

(a) I cannot now chose to fly J, (b) I have no option to use FF points if I was travelling econ and wanted to use them to upgrade, (c) I'm forced to travel SIN-PER on Jetstar if I want to earn SC/FF points and access the QF lounge in SIN on this sector, (d) I no longer have access as a Plat to to SATs business class check in SIN when travelling either J or Y on QF.

(e) The QF Int'l Business lounge in PER will most certainly now disappear as a result of yesterday,  if I chose to travel Jetstar in the future (unlikely now) what option will QF provide for lounges access for status pax?

The list goes on and on and I'm sure many many pax will have ponded the same.

10 on 28/2/14 by ezihose

What a twatt

11 on 28/2/14 by ezihose

Come on singapore airlines start doubling up your flights and bring the 777-300s in as the mainstay air craft

1 on 28/2/14 by watson374

What, you want 8x daily 77Ws?

12 on 28/2/14 by Frank

We made the switch to MAS for international flights a few years ago as their very competitive prices allowed us the luxury of business class to Europe, with the prices being about 1/3 cheaper.  Couple that with great connections (arriving home 1500 in lieu of 0030) it was hard not to use this option.  We hoped for better news in the future, but it now seems this will now become our permanent option.

13 on 28/2/14 by Joshua

Putting an Irish man (ala BA and their history with their workforce), in charge of another country's prime international asset... The one international visitors and residents of Australia hold in high regard is nigh on stupidity. The slimming down of Qantas initially, to result in larger profit margins and coffers for shareholders failed - the strategy & tie up with Emirates has failed! Instead of seeking new markets and expanding as a quality airline (look over the Tasman) it has withered away to nothing, and now WA and practically Australia has nothing. A sad day. Cutting Perth off from Sin as it "underperformed" was only a result of unwise business decisions. It's ludicrous.

14 on 30/3/14 by Richard

So does this mean the Qantas International Lounge will close? I can't imagine them keeping it open purely for Jetstar flights.

My partner and I are travelling to Europe on Finnair on July 1st this year, with the PER-SIN leg supposed to be on Qantas metal. As this is 2 days before the Qantas service resumes for 3 weeks on July 3rd, we have been rebooked onto an SQ flight. I contacted the Plat. One Service Centre to confirm whether I'll still be entitled to the 100 SCs for this sector, now that the codeshare is no longer on a Oneworld airline. They seemed to think I would still be entitled to the SCs but couldn't confirm it. Is there a policy that covers when an airline cancels a route, which "reimburses" pre-booked passengers for the loss of SCs due to the cancellation?

1 on 30/3/14 by Chris

Contact Qantas after you travel and include a copy of your original itinerary (showing the QF flights) and the replacement version (showing SQ flights) and request "original routing credit". :)

1 on 31/3/14 by Richard

Thanks for the advice!

15 on 30/3/14 by Richard

Doh! Of course they'll keep the Lounge open for the Emirates flights!

 

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