Qantas has announced a series of improvements to its services to Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Auckland and Christchurch, as it embarks on extending its alliance with Emirates across the Tasman from today.
A twice-weekly nonstop service between Perth and Auckland will be introduced on a seasonal basis from early December to the end of January using internationally-configured A330s. Qantas said the new service will add nearly 1,000 seats a week “to what is currently a monopoly route over the busy Christmas and summer holiday period”. QF111 will depart Perth at 2030 and arrive in Auckland at 0750, with the return QF112 departing Auckland at 1140 and arriving in Perth at 1405.
Flights between Sydney and Christchurch are being re-timed to offer better connections through Sydney for onward domestic and international services. From October 27 the flight will been rescheduled to arrive in Sydney at 0850 instead of the previous 1555.
From November 4, Qantas is upgrading one return flight each week between Sydney and Hong Kong to an A380, bringing to five the number of weekly A380 services. The change of aircraft type will add about five per cent to weekly capacity on the route.
The 747-400 previously used on the Hong Kong service will enable an increase in frequency on the Brisbane-Los Angeles route from December 2, with Qantas now offering a daily nonstop service, a roughly 15 per cent increase in the number of available seats.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the changes were made possible through schedule optimisation and ongoing transformation efforts within the airline’s international division.
“We’re able to make these changes by simply using our existing assets better,” he said.
“For instance, the new seasonal Perth to Auckland service uses an A330 that would otherwise be on the ground over the weekend. The Qantas Group is serious about Asia and we’ve already increased capacity to Hong Kong by 10 per cent this year. As well as adding almost five per cent more seats per week on this route, the aircraft swap will increase the amount of flying done by our flagship A380 fleet into Asia.
“Our Brisbane to Los Angeles service is a strong performer and upgrading it to daily will improve the travel options for customers heading to the United States from Queensland, which has great links to our domestic and regional networks. ”
Today also marks the first day of the partnership between Qantas and Emirates on trans-Tasman services. Starting today, the two airlines have aligned fares and switched on codesharing on around 130 flights a week between Australia and New Zealand.
The schedule change on Sydney-Christchurch and the new Perth-Auckland route are in part enabled through the partnership.