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Qantas Airways is operated as part of the publicly listed Qantas Group. It is the national airline of Australia with major hubs in Sydney and Melbourne and secondary hubs in Perth and Brisbane. Utilising a large fleet of narrow and wide-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft, Qantas operates an extensive domestic and international network, with services to New Zealand, the Americas, Asia, South Africa and Europe. Regional services are provided by subsidiary, QantasLink. Qantas is a founding member of the oneworld alliance.
Location of Qantas Airways main hub (Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport)
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5,604 total articles
ATSB releases incident report on QantasLink flight operated with incorrect take-off and landing data
429 total articles
Singapore Airlines (SIA) will launch services from Jakarta to Sydney in Nov-2016, resulting in new competition for rivals Garuda Indonesia and Australia’s Qantas Airways. SIA’s entrance on the Jakarta-Sydney route is a strategic move and highlights its desire to pursue new areas of growth.
The Indonesia-Australia market is a logical market for SIA as it seeks to diversify its business. Indonesia and Australia are already SIA’s two largest international markets and Garuda and Qantas are already among its biggest competitors.
Competition within Asia Pacific, including the Southeast Asia-Australia market, has been intensifying. In the current highly competitive and challenging environment airlines are constantly jockeying and exploring new options to improve their position.
The 747 has been in the spotlight since the Aug-2016 passing of lead engineer Joe Sutter. The iconic aircraft's milestones and fade from service come into focus again with the impending retirement of Cathay Pacific's passenger 747 fleet. A Cathay Pacific 747-400 was the final commercial flight to depart Hong Kong's old airport at Kai Tak, while another Cathay 747 was the first commercial flight to land at the new airport at Chek Lap Kok – with that flight also the first to use a Polar Routing, one which has changed the Asia-North America market for all airlines.
After the 01-Oct-2016 return to Hong Kong of Cathay's final passenger 747 flight, CX543 from Tokyo Haneda, Cathay's last three passenger 747s will be decommissioned from normal service. The global fleet of passenger/combi 747-400s will then decrease to 204, according to CAPA's Fleet Database. The 747-400s in regular, non-charter service will number 175. Six airlines – British Airways, United, KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas and Thai Airways – operate 10 or more 747s, accounting for 65% of what is left of the regular in-service fleet. United will retire its 747 fleet by 2018, while British Airways and Qantas (which operates the slightly newer 747-400ER) look likely to be some of the last 747 (non-8i) operators, with service stretching into 2020.
There have recently been important shifts in Virgin Australia's partnership relations, as Air New Zealand withdraws its ownership and the roles of Singapore Airlines and Etihad evolve with HNA becoming a substantial shareholder. As a consequence, Virgin is restructuring its long haul network for the first time in over two years. Individual changes are not significant, but they help tie up loose ends in Virgin's strategy. Virgin and its US JV partner Delta have been static since United and Qantas-American Airlines greatly altered the Australia-US market profile, a route which constitutes most of Virgin's long haul network.
Virgin struggled to find a use for what was essentially leftover aircraft capacity that it allocated to Sydney-Abu Dhabi as part of a JV with Etihad. With a limited fleet, North America beckoning, and Etihad seemingly losing some lustre since a Virgin-Singapore Airlines partnership, Virgin is having to cut Sydney-Abu Dhabi to free up capacity to relaunch Melbourne-Los Angeles.
Virgin will still commit to its Etihad partnership by adding three weekly Perth-Abu Dhabi flights on the A330-200, which will finally be moved out of the domestic market and deployed long haul. Since the end of the West Australian mining boom, these well equipped aircraft are no longer needed on transcontinental domestic service. Virgin's fleet of five 777-300ERs now will exclusively be used on Los Angeles.
Australian LCC Jetstar, part of the Qantas Group, has introduced its first specifically business-targetted fares, FlexiBiz, in a bid to satisfy its growing SME market.
The new FlexiBiz offering allows business travellers to change flights on the day of travel and provides additional carry-on luggage allowances and free seat selection. Additional fees for the extras range from AUD29-AUD34 for domestic flights and AUD39-AUD55 for international flights. Business travellers must have an Australian Business Number (ABN), indicating their business status, in order to qualify.
Jetstar group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka says the introduction recognises the “significant number of customers travelling for business on particular routes during peak times”. The FlexiBiz bundle allows the Qantas Group to target these travellers in a dual brand strategy alongside Qantas. The budget-conscious business fare is also available in New Zealand and Singapore, with slight variations.
The new offering complements Qantas’ focus on small and medium-size businesses (through Aquire) and premium corporate travel, ensuring that it has all the segments of the business travel market covered. Aquire is a rewards programme for Australian businesses. Similar to the Qantas Frequent Flyer programme for individuals, Aquire offers Aquire Points to businesses for a range of goods and services, including travel on Qantas flights.
The A380 is once again under media scrutiny, despite there being no major movement on the type. Comments from Air France and Qantas about not taking further A380s have long been assumed, and it has been apparent that Malaysia Airlines does not even have the need for its A380s. Singapore Airlines not renewing the lease on its first A380 is hardly surprising, and offers no definitive conclusion about the A380 or second-hand market; early A380s had different production and are not as efficient as later models. The lack of movement on the A380neo continues to irk the model's largest customer by far, Emirates, and may not make for a productive relationship as Emirates weighs an A350 or 787 order.
For most, the A380 continues to fly. How and where it flies is changing. Flights to and from the Middle East are becoming more common as Gulf airlines, and mostly Emirates, take delivery of A380s. A further shift to the Middle East is inevitable. In Japan there has been a near exodus of A380s; airlines dropping the type as they moved from Narita to Haneda, which cannot accommodate the A380 during the day, and Singapore Airlines down-gauging. Intra-Asia flying is decreasing – notable given the growth of A380s based in the region. Services by the A380 to Australia are growing, perhaps as it becomes an easy market for airlines to redeploy capacity amid European security concerns and trans-Pacific overcapacity.
For an airline that is not large, Air New Zealand has been remarkably successful, now, notably in FY2016. It has selectively established helpful partnerships and, elsewhere, largely remained under the radar. It has excelled at marketing, and at market positioning.
But its home country is no longer the secret – or as inaccessible as – it used to be. That is a growing challenge for Air New Zealand, which for years has quietly and effectively exploited the limited competition. Two new entrants to Auckland in the North American market, and more nonstop capacity from North America to Australia – a 6th freedom staple for Air NZ, will elevate the threats. In the peak summer Chinese airlines will have one third as much capacity into New Zealand as Air NZ has long haul capacity to the world. The New Zealand government has considered granting fifth freedom rights for unserved routes. Domestically, Jetstar is challenging Air NZ on select regional routes.