Qantas will boost its Perth-Singapore flights to daily and add extra services between Sydney and Hong Kong over summer as the airline continues its Asian expansion with increased fleet utilisation and a flexible schedule designed to cater to peak demand.
Launched with five services a week in June, Qantas will add an extra two flights a week on the Singapore-Perth route from December 1 to offer a daily service that will operate year round.
Qantas exited year-round Perth-Singapore service with Airbus A330 aircraft in May 2014, but resumed flights between the West Australian capital and Singapore with smaller Boeing 737-800s.
“Perth-Singapore has been a success story since Qantas flights resumed in June,” Qantas International chief executive Gareth Evans said in a statement on Friday.
“We’ve had fantastic backing from the community and the time is right to go daily all year round.”
Meanwhile, Qantas said it would offer 12 flights a week between Hong Kong and Sydney from December 11 2015 to March 23 2016, with two services a day on weekdays and one flight a day on the weekend.
The increases come on top of recent announcements covering seasonal increase to Manila, Jakarta and Hong Kong.
The oneworld alliance member recently went to 11 flights a week on the Sydney-Hong Kong route and Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce indicated when the announcement was made in September he was looking to add more flights to Hong Kong if additional takeoff and landing slots could be found at the busy Chek Lap Kok Airport.
“Unfortunately until the third runway is built in Hong Kong it means there is limited growth opportunities for Australian carriers compared to Hong Kong-based carriers and that needs to be recognised in any bilateral discussions,” Joyce told reporters on September 9.
“We’ve got plenty of room to grow in the current bilateral, the trouble is we can’t get the slots to grow.”
Evans said there was good demand on Asian routes, given more Australian businesses were expanding their operations in the Asia-Pacific, while a lower Australian dollar had made it more affordable for tourists to head Down Under.
“It’s about being agile to adjust to changes in the market where it’s needed – and we’re able to do that by maximising the utilisation of our large, varied fleet,” Evans said.
“Because this growth is coming from increased fleet utilisation, it is a very cost efficient way to meet that rising demand.”