A familiar sight for anyone passing through Heathrow during the day is a pair of Qantas A380s parked at a remote stand near Terminal 3.
Whilst providing those on a mundane business trip to Frankfurt or Geneva the opportunity to dream about going somewhere else, it serves as an illustration of the hard economics for Qantas of competing against Middle Eastern and Asian airlines in the London to Australia market.
Currently, Qantas’ twice daily flights to Australia depart late in the evening and arrive in the morning at London Heathrow meaning hugely expensive assets are left on the ground all day doing nothing.
From 20 July 2014, as part of a broader restructuring of Qantas’ network in response to a deteriorating financial performance, Qantas flights to Melbourne will be retimed from a late evening departure to an early afternoon departure.
This also means the restoration of a Qantas day flight to Australia (with an early evening arrival) as used to the case a few years ago when Qantas offered late morning departures to both Sydney (via Singapore) and Melbourne (via Hong Kong).
London Heathrow – Dubai – Melbourne – Dubai – London Heathrow (Current Timetable)
Flight QF10 Depart London Heathrow 22:25 – Arrive Dubai 08:20
Flight QF10 Depart Dubai 10:05 – Arrive Melbourne 05:25
Flight QF9 Depart Melbourne 19:15 – Arrive Dubai 03:25
Flight QF9 Depart Dubai 05:30 – Arrive London Heathrow 10:00
London Heathrow – Dubai – Melbourne – Dubai – London Heathrow (Timetable from 20 July 2014)
Flight QF10 Depart London Heathrow 13:30 – Arrive Dubai 23:25
Flight QF10 Depart Dubai 01:35 – Arrive Melbourne 20:55
Flight QF9 Depart Melbourne 22:55 – Arrive Dubai 07:05
Flight QF9 Depart Dubai 09:10 – Arrive London Heathrow 13:40
Note at the time of posting the Qantas website booking engine has not been fully updated.
Eagle eyed readers will note that the flight leaves Heathrow 10 minutes before the inbound aircraft is due to arrive. Qantas will use the inbound flight from Sydney to operate the outbound Melbourne service.