Qantas today announced another milestone in the evolution of the “Kangaroo route” between London and Australia.
From Sunday 25 March 2018, Qantas will return to flying from London to Sydney via Singapore, replacing its existing service to Sydney via Dubai. This, together with Qantas replacing London – Dubai – Melbourne with London – Perth – Melbourne means that Qantas will no longer fly from London to Dubai.
The changes were announced today as Qantas and Emirates are to extend their partnership for a further five years. However, due to regulatory reasons Emirates will not be able to codeshare on Qantas operated services from London to Singapore and London to Perth.
This move will be very popular with many passengers who prefer a stopover at the highly regarded Singapore Changi airport over Dubai. Qantas will also continue to serve London – Sydney with the Airbus A380 aircraft.
When Qantas first announced its partnership with Emirates five years ago there was considerable criticism in the Australian press that Qantas had handed over international traffic to Emirates too easily, with little evidence to show what Qantas is receiving in return. There were even questions as to whether might abandon flying to London altogether.
The latest move by Qantas does suggest something of a comeback for Qantas in Europe, particularly in light of its plan for non-stop flights from London to Sydney.
Reading between the lines of today’s press release it does seem that Qantas has stronger leverage with Emirates than it did five years ago.
A couple of other points of note are that the loss of two Qantas A380 services will lead to a fairly significant reduction in capacity on the London – Dubai route which Emirates serves five times daily.
There is also the question of BA’s service to Sydney via Singapore. Five years ago, there were questions as to the long term viability of this route. BA took a number of measures to improve performance of this route and it seems to be holding in there. Clearly, the latest move by Qantas may prompt a rethink. Relations between BA and Qantas were reported to be quite acrimonious five years ago after Qantas tore up its joint-business with BA. BA does codeshare on Qantas operated flights from Singapore to Australia, but it seems unlikely that the two airlines will return to codesharing on London – Singapore – Australia.
London – Singapore – Sydney
Flight QF2 Depart London 21:15 – Arrive Singapore 17:25
Flight QF2 Depart Singapore 19:30 – Arrive Sydney 06:10
Sydney – Singapore – London
Flight QF1 Depart Sydney 16:55 – Arrive Singapore 22:15
Flight QF1 Depart 23:55 Singapore – Arrive London 06:50