Qantas has announced significant network wide changes as part of its response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
These apply to the entire international network of Qantas and its sister airline Jetstar until mid-September 2020.
The overall effect of these changes is to reduce the international flying of Qantas Group by a quarter over the next six months.
At London Heathrow, Qantas will continue to fly to Australia twice daily.
However, Qantas plans to ground 8 of its 14 Airbus A380 aircraft until mid-September. As 2 A380 aircraft are undergoing scheduled heavy maintenance, just 2 aircraft will continue to fly.
As such, Qantas will replace its service from Sydney to London Heathrow (Flights QF1 & QF2) with a Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
It will also be re-routed operating from Sydney to Perth and then non-stop from Perth to London Heathrow.
At the time of publication this is not reflected in Qantas’ online timetables. However, it will apply to Sydney – London from 20 April 2020. It should apply to London – Sydney a couple of days’ later.
This will operate in additional to Qantas existing non-stop service between London Heathrow and Perth (Flights QF9 & QF10), meaning that Qantas will fly non-stop from London Heathrow to Perth twice daily.
Whilst Qantas claims the non-stop service to Perth has been well received by passengers, this will disappoint those would prefer a stop-over in Singapore. There is also no First Class cabin on Qantas’ Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
In terms of the broader Qantas network, the most significant changes include Qantas suspending Melbourne – San Francisco and Brisbane – San Francisco from 18 April 2020. The launch of Brisbane – Chicago has also been postponed.
It is no exaggeration that the scope of breadth of the changes, whilst no doubt made sensibly, is unprecedented. A full summary is available from Qantas.