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Qantas lifts Sydney-Hong Kong to double-daily

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 17, 2016
AIRBUS A330 300 QANTAS SYD NOV15 RF 5K5A9923
Qantas is adding extra Airbus A330 services to Hong Kong from April. (Rob Finlayson)

Qantas has managed to secure additional slots and squeeze a bit more out of its international fleet to increase its Sydney-Hong Kong service to double-daily from the start of the “northern summer” scheduling season in April.

Since October 2015, the Flying Kangaroo has offered 11 flights a week between Sydney and Hong Kong with a mix of Boeing 747 and Airbus A330 aircraft.

The move to 14 flights a week starts on April 4 and continues until May 1, before dropping back to 13 flights a week for about two and a half months. The twice daily frequency resumes from July 18 to October 29.

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Qantas said in a statement on Thursday the increase to double-daily was designed to maximise the available landing slots at Hong Kong International Airport during the “northern summer” scheduling period.

Moving to two flights a day on the Sydney-Hong Kong route has been an ambition of the airline for some time. However, a lack of available slots meant the airline was only able to grow from seven to 11 flights a week in October 2015.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said it was the slot situation rather than the bilateral air services agreement between Hong Kong and Australia that was hindering Qantas’s efforts to grow its operations in the territory.

“You might have open access or more access in the bilateral but if you don’t have the slots it is academic,” Joyce told reporters in September 2015 after speaking at an industry lunch.

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“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.

“We’ve got plenty of room to grow in the current bilateral, the trouble is we can’t get the slots to grow.”

Qantas also flies daily to Hong Kong from Melbourne and Brisbane.

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14 Comments

  • Kim

    says:

    And yet we here in Perth still only have 1 international service
    And only 1 airline Cathay flying to Hong Kong

  • Joseph Y

    says:

    Kim, Qantas where not making hardly as much money on PER-HKG compared to SYD/MEL/BNE-HKG and there where far more profitable routes that the aircraft could be deployed to

  • Craigy

    says:

    @ Kim Maybe there isn’t the demand to warrant QF flying to HKG from Perth. Those flying Cathay are most likely flying beyond HKG so will change at HKG. HKG is a hub for Cathay just like Singapore is for SIA and DUB for Emirates.

  • Brad

    says:

    Presumably with very little access to additional slots, QANTAS see extra flights out of Sydney returning better yields than anymore out of Perth. Business is business, unfortunately.

  • GBRGB

    says:

    You are very lucky in Perth, here in Townsville we have to travel 3-4 hours south to Sydney before flying back north again, we actually spend a day travelling before we get back to the same latitude we left from.

  • Ben

    says:

    Too right GBRGB, same deal here in Darwin, although we do have our nice collection of international services we are still left out. Would love to see better services to north Australia.

  • Aden O'Keefe-Buckton

    says:

    QANTAS use the 747 and A380 between SYD &HKG I dont think they use the A330 reguarly/as often as the 747 & A380

  • Dave

    says:

    Hey GBRGB,
    We are lucky here in Perth, because we live in Perth 🙂
    But I think some/many people are a little bitter that the national carrier pulled intl services from here. Some of us would love to be able to choose QF, but if they don’t fly you can’t choose them.
    But on the other hand business is business, and if you don’t care about which airline, Cathay is perfectly fine (even better?) for Per-HKG.

  • Stu Bee

    says:

    Clearly, it’s all a major conspiracy against the good people of WA. They must be held accountable for choosing to live in the most remote capital city in the world!

  • David

    says:

    To comment on the above replies re Darwin and Townsville there is a little difference between the populations of Darwin , Perth and Townsville. Darwin enjoys 138000, Townsville 178000 Perth a whopping 2.2 million so it should be treated better by the airlines.

  • Ryan

    says:

    @GBRGB Remember Perth is a major capital city, whereas (for all intents and purposes) Townsville is a small country town.

    As usual, Adelaide hasn’t been mentioned. We also have to travel to MEL, SYD or BNE before we can go anywhere, unless that somewhere is in Africa, in which case we have to go to PER. The only direct flights from ADL are to DUB, Auckland and Bali.

  • Jay

    says:

    The refitted A330 is a credit to Qantas.

  • Stuart

    says:

    When did the direct flights to DUB (Dublin, Ireland) from Perth and Adelaide start. I suspect that the commenters mean DXB (Dubai).

  • Allan

    says:

    Ryan, Adelaide also has direct flights to Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. No international flights by Qantas, however.

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