When flight QF78 touched down at Perth Airport shortly after 1130pm on Sunday night it represented the end of Qantas’s regularly scheduled international service from the Western Australian capital.
The flight from Singapore – which up to now was Qantas’s sole daily international destination from Perth – has been cut as part of efforts to turn around a massive first half loss.
While Qantas will continue to operate some seasonal Perth-Singapore services, including during the upcoming July school holidays, Sunday’s QF77 to Singapore and the return QF78 were the last of the year-round daily flights to the city-state.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said recently the route was losing money.
“Unfortunately we can’t insulate WA from the need for hard decisions,” Joyce told the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Western Australia on May 1.
“I recognise that Perth has been affected by the withdrawal of some Qantas international routes – routes that were unprofitable.”
Sunday’s flight, operated by Airbus A330-200 VH-EBI, landed from Singapore at 1136pm.
Passengers looking up flight options on the Qantas website for Perth-Singapore are now offered itineraries through Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane – extending a six-hour journey into a 15-hour one – or direct flights on Jetstar Asia.
The Australian carrier’s other international route from Perth is a seasonal service to Auckland, which will return in December 2014 and operate through to April 2015. It ran for about six weeks over December 2013/January 2014.
Qantas, which pulled out of Perth-Hong Kong and Perth-Tokyo markets in recent years, announced a $235 million loss for the six months to December 31 2013.