TALKING POINT | It’s "goodbye" to Dubai and "hello again, old friend" to Singapore as Qantas next weekend ditches the Emirates hub and returns to Singapore as the stopover point for its Kangaroo Route to London.
The Gulf city will see its last Qantas flight on Saturday March 24 – almost five years to the day that the Qantas-Emirates alliance saw the long-standing Singapore stopover axed in favour of Dubai.
Most Australian business travellers prefer Singapore to Dubai, regardless of whether it’s for a two-hour pit-stop at the airport or a two-day stay to break their journey.
Over the years our readers have consistently voted for Singapore as their European stop-over of choice. When we held a reader poll in 2016, Singapore shot to the top with 46.5% of votes – representing almost every second reader – with Hong Kong coming in second at 26% and Dubai a distant third in the single-digit territory of just 9.2%.
So Qantas' change should be a winner among readers.
Yet we appreciate that some travellers have, on the whole, grown accustomed to that Dubai transit. While they may care little for the city itself, the timing of the flights does provide a better chance for sleeping on that 14 hour Dubai-Sydney leg).
Comparing Emirates' flagship first class lounge to one of Qantas' business class lounges at an international outpost is an uneven playing field, of course, but all the same that's the situation which passengers will face.
But it's not just first class travellers who are raising the orange flag. Many frequent flyers – including Australian Business Traveller readers, as indicated in this Community discussion – are concerned that the Qantas Singapore lounge will simply be too small to cope with those superjumbo-loads of business class passengers, Platinum and Gold frequent flyers and Qantas Club passengers.
So, with the big change barely a week away, what's your thinking on Qantas' shift from Dubai back to Singapore and how will it affect your travels?