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Qantas heading back to Beijing

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 13, 2016

Qantas says domestic and international yields improving. (Rob Finlayson)
A Qantas Airbus A330-200 takes off from Sydney Airport. (Rob Finlayson)

Qantas is boosting its presence in China with a resumption of Sydney-Beijing nonstop flights from late January 2017.

The daily flight will be operated with Airbus A330-200s and marks a return to the Chinese capital for the first time since Qantas withdrew from the route in 2009.

It also comes ahead of Virgin Australia’s daily flights to Beijing and Hong Kong that are planned to start on June 1 2017 from a yet-to-be-disclosed Australian city in partnership with Chinese conglomerate HNA.

Currently, Qantas flies daily between Sydney and Shanghai with Airbus A330 equipment. The Australian carrier also has an alliance with China Eastern and codesharing arrangements with China Southern for beyond points in China, and has recently added extra flights to Hong Kong.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the new service would seek to tap into the growing number of Chinese visitors to Australia, noting the rising global superpower was the second largest source of visitors after New Zealand.


“Australia is now at the top of the wish list for Chinese travellers thinking about where they want to go next,” Joyce said in a statement on Thursday.

“There are 21 million people in Beijing alone and from the start of next year they will be just one Qantas flight away. The potential is tremendous.

“We’re seeing strong loads on our existing Shanghai and Hong Kong services, and on this new Beijing route we’ll have the advantage of China Eastern marketing the Qantas flight as part of their own network.”

The first flight to Beijing was due to take off on January 25 2017.

Flight schedules show QF107 as an afternoon departure from Sydney, landing just before 2300 local time. The reciprocal QF108 is an overnight service from Beijing, touching down in Sydney in the mid-afternoon.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce announces the airline's return to Beijing at Sydney Airport on October 13. (Qantas)

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Comments (13)

  • GAGA


    It’s hard to believe they don’t already have a current flight to Beijing. Only a A330-200 planned too? I’d have thought they’d have a daily A380/747s.

  • Anil Kattula


    Too little, Too late! Qantas has waited way too long to return to Beijing. Sorrycoupleut one A330 a day from Sydney is not going to cut it when there are numerous flights daily to Sydney and most Australian capital cities by Chinese airlines from all over China. The China – Sydney market is swamped. Melbourne is the preferred destination for many Chinese tourists and business people. Even Virgin has said their Beijing flights may
    not be from Sydney. If Qantas want to compete then need several flights per day from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane at least.

  • Hutch


    @anil there’s a thing called yield mate. Flying lots of planes (even full planes) between destinations is useless unless you are extracting the necessary returns (ask Cathay about this)…. all those current flights are majority operated by Chinese carriers with much lower cost structures.

    Qantas would not be trying (and never will be) the dominate carrier between Australia and China alone. Combined with China Eastern and to a lesser extent China Southern, they are looking to get a piece of the pie through some own metal services and a number of codeshares on partners. Those own metal services will likely increase, but not to the extent you suggest (at least not in the medium term)

  • Joe


    With the downturn of the west to east coast flights, Qantas has ample opportunity to launch new routes with the newly reconfigured A330s

    NZ, Europe and the Middle East can all be served with an A330.

  • Gary



    Top comments!

  • Jack


    Joe the reason qantas now has a330 capacity is they have received a few (back) from Jetstar and have more or less complete the refurbishment that has seen 2 in refurb for past 18 months.

    Interesting though the PEK they will be running the 2 unrefurbished -200’s

  • Craigy



    Exactly. Another consideration is that the majority of the Chinese will be on some type of package deal that has been struck with the Chinese carriers. To suggest Qantas can compete with that is just ludicrous. They will be aiming for the more independent traveller.

  • Stuart lawrence


    VIrigin Australia is sending their airbus a330 with a refueling stop in hongkong I would think the route to Beijing would be 747 777 or airbus 380 if you flew non stop to Beijing

  • Patrick Donnolley


    Or potentially Australian based tour companies.

  • Ben


    Jack, they will be using the two -200s that haven’t been reconfigured because the re-configured -200s don’t have a Flight Crew Rest Facility… another smart decision by QF management. And the -300s would be payload limited, at best.

  • Vannus


    Good commercial decision!

    There’s money to be made from part of the newly cashed up Chinese populace.

  • jcook


    Apart from anything else , the A380s are currently fully committed now .ie no spare capacity ..

  • Ian Deans


    Always the “Sydney” airline. They forget that there are a few other Aussie cities. Anyway, at least it’s great that several Chinese carriers are showing confidence in the Melbourne market.

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