Qantas Sydney – Beijing flights take off in time for Chinese New Year

Courtesy: Qantas.

Qantas’ new flights to Beijing take off today (January 25th, 2017), helping power the Australia-China travel boom and marking the next step in the national carrier’s Chinese growth strategy.

Beijing is Qantas’ third destination in Greater China, joining Shanghai and Hong Kong.   The new service gives the capital’s 21 million residents a direct gateway to Australia, representing a huge opportunity for the Australian tourism industry and Australian companies doing business in China under the Free Trade Agreement.

Inbound flights on the new route are timed to connect with Qantas’ domestic network to popular onward destinations such as Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart, as well as the airline’s Tasman services to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Qantas will be working with Tourism Australia, Destination NSW and across its own marketing channels to showcase Australia for a Chinese audience, as well as jointly selling the route with its joint venture partner China Eastern.

Flights will operate to Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3, using a 235 seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft.  Overall, the service adds 3,300 seats to the market per week.

CEO Alan Joyce said the 12 hour route takes Qantas’ long history of serving China into a new era.

“It’s the perfect time for Qantas to fly to Beijing. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement is hitting its stride and China is on track to become the number one source of visitors to Australia within the next year or so,” said Mr Joyce.

“What’s really exciting is the potential we see for the future.  We now have the Qantas Group’s biggest ever network in Greater China, and our goal is to make our Beijing route a flagship corridor for tourism and trade.

“For Chinese travellers, our message is that there’s no better way of getting to know Australia than with the national carrier.  In the business market, this route gives our companies the ability to win new business and get their products and services into the market. And it’s a positive for the Australian travel industry.  So whichever way you look at it, this is a good news story.”

The new Beijing service is part of Qantas’ growth strategy for China and the broader Asian region, increasing its total capacity on routes to Asia by seven per cent.

Together with its partners China Eastern and China Southern, Qantas customers can now choose from 130 weekly return flights between Australia and China, plus close to 256 connecting services to domestic destinations within China.  The Jetstar Group of airlines offers more than 30 return flights a week into eight Chinese cities from Singapore and Vietnam.

Today’s route launch follows the beginning of Melbourne-Tokyo Narita flights before Christmas and the announcement last week of a new Jetstar service between Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh city, to begin in May 2017.

Launch celebrations will take place in both cities, including the traditional Chinese Lion Dance and the gifting to passengers of chocolates inside red packets to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Source: Qantas.

Melbourne – Los Angeles announced as first Dreamliner route

Courtesy: Qantas.

The Qantas Dreamliner will carry 236 passengers in a three-class configuration and complement the daily Airbus A380 service already flying from Melbourne to Los Angeles. Operating six times per week, the Dreamliner will replace the 747 service that currently operates on this route alongside the A380.

Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans said the arrival of the Dreamliner would be a step change for the airline and for customers, both in terms of operational efficiency and passenger comfort.

“The Dreamliner is a game-changing aircraft that opens up a new era for Qantas, and it’s been designed with passenger comfort in mind,” said Mr Evans.

“The aircraft itself offers passengers larger windows, a smoother ride and better air quality to reduce jetlag.

“In Economy there’s more room and plenty of storage. In Business, our suites will offer a fully flat bed and direct aisle access. We’ll be unveiling our Premium Economy in the first quarter of next year and it will set new standards for the industry.”

Mr Evans made the announcement while visiting the Boeing Aerostructures Australia facility at Port Melbourne with Victorian Tourism Minister John Eren. The factory manufactures parts of the 787 wing, which are then shipped to the United States for the aircraft assembly.

“We’ll be working with Visit Victoria on joint marketing campaigns to highlight what Victoria and the Qantas Dreamliner have to offer,” said Mr Evans.

Today’s announcement (December 13th, 2016) follows Qantas confirming it will fly non-stop from Perth to London from March 2018. Travellers on the East Coast are expected to also use the service, cutting up to an hour off their total travel time.

The 787-9 Melbourne-Los Angeles service will operate six days a week. This takes the total number of Qantas services on the route from nine to 13 return flights per week and will give customers the convenience of a morning or afternoon departure from Melbourne on most days. As it replaces a larger, 364-seat 747 that operates twice a week, the net capacity increase is approximately 1,400 seats in total.

Fares will be on sale from Christmas Day 2016.

*: Subject to final government and regulatory approval.

Source: Qantas.

Qantas to fly non-stop Perth to London

Courtesy: Qantas.

Qantas is set to add to its list of aviation firsts, with the national carrier confirming it will operate non-stop flights from Perth to London using the 787-9 Dreamliner.

The 14,498 kilometre service will be the first regular passenger service to directly link Australia with Europe when it begins in March 2018.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the history-making route would be a watershed for travel, tourism and trade.

“When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947, it took four days and nine stops. Now it will take just 17 hours from Perth non-stop.

“This is a game-changing route flown by a game-changing aircraft. Australians have never had a direct link to Europe before, so the opportunities this opens up are huge.

“It’s great news for travellers because it will make it easier to get to London. It’s great news for Western Australia because it will bring jobs and tourism. And it’s great news for the nation, because it will bring us closer to one of our biggest trade partners and sources of visitors.”

Mr Joyce said passenger comfort on the long flight was a key consideration.

“When we designed the interior of our 787s, we wanted to make sure passengers would be comfortable on the extended missions the aircraft was capable of.

“That’s why we have features in our Economy seats that other airlines reserve for Premium Economy. Our Business Suite has been nicknamed ‘mini First class’ by many of our frequent flyers. And we’re redesigning our on-board service to help reduce jetlag,” he added.

The enhanced Qantas cabin design is in addition to the comfort factors that Boeing built in to the Dreamliner – improved air quality, lower cabin noise and technology to reduce turbulence.

Mr Joyce said the direct route is expected to appeal to travellers on the East Coast as well as West Australians, helping to deliver a tourism boost.

“A direct flight makes travelling to Australia a much more attractive proposition to millions of people. We expect many travellers from Europe will start their time in Australia with a visit to Perth before going on to see other parts of the country.

“Our modelling shows that people from the East Coast as well as South Australia would fly domestically to Perth to connect to our non-stop London service. Some will take the opportunity to break their journey, whether it’s for business meetings in Perth, to holiday or to visit family.”

The new flight will operate through Qantas’ existing domestic terminals (T3/4), which will be upgraded to accommodate international flights. The airline’s current international services from Perth (to Singapore and to Auckland) will also move to this terminal, helping to simplify the journey for thousands of people every year. Qantas will move its operations to an expanded Terminal 1 at Perth Airport by 2025, pending a commercial agreement.

“We’ll be looking at the timing of our domestic flights through Perth to offer the best connections we can to our international flights, particularly given they will all be under the one roof,” added Mr Joyce.

“I’d like to acknowledge the support of the West Australian Government and Perth Airport in helping make this service a reality.”

Seats on the Perth-London flights will go on sale in April 2017 for the first services in March 2018. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners used on the route will carry 236 passengers across Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins.

Source: Qantas.

Lufthansa Technik: Qantas extends its A380 support contract with Spairliners until 2025

Courtesy: Qantas.

Courtesy: Qantas.

Qantas Airways Ltd., the Australian flag carrier based in Sydney, has renewed its Integrated Component Care contract with Spairliners who have been providing services since the A380 entry into service in 2008. The contract is effective from 01st of January 2016 and covers component pooling and repair solutions of all Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) for Qantas’ Airbus A380 aircraft fleet. As a result of the new agreement the contract provides an additional transportation service to and from Qantas’ Homebase in Sydney and all line stations.

The contracted services include the scope of about 1,000 part numbers (P/N) in total. Qantas offers A380 passenger transport services with 14 daily flights connecting Sydney and Melbourne to Dubai, London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Dallas. Since operation of Qantas’ first A380 in 2008, the component provider has served the airline for over 350,000 flight hours. “Spairliners is our preferred component provider thanks to the successful partnership and improving high service levels through the time of the existing contract” says Mike Legrand, Procurement Engineering CAM Manager at Qantas Airways.

Source: Lufthansa Technik.

Qantas announces plans for “Retro Roo II”

Courtesy: Qantas.

Courtesy: Qantas.

Qantas is set to inspire a fresh wave of Australian aviation nostalgia with a second Boeing 737-800 to be painted in a retro livery as part of celebrations marking the national carrier’s 95th Birthday.

Qantas’ Group Executive for Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth, said the second retro livery aircraft would build on the popularity of the first historical livery unveiled last year.

“We are very excited to be announcing the commissioning of Retro Roo II following the phenomenal response we received from the community and our people when we introduced the first Retro Roo with its classic 1970s iconic last November.

“You can see from what’s posted on social media that people enjoy taking photos of Retro Roo I as it travels to airports around Australia. Crew tell us it’s always a talking point when it pulls up to the gate and people get on board, though they’re generally pleased that it’s not 1974 on in the inside as well.

“The Retro Roo II livery is part of celebrations for our 95th anniversary and it’s also a good contrast to the innovation happening at Qantas, particularly as we start to prepare for our first B787 Dreamliners in 2017”.

The new livery will be chosen from the 12 liveries that Qantas has had since its first aircraft in 1920. It will be applied to one of Qantas’ existing 67 Boeing 737 aircraft, which are undergoing a refurbishment program in Brisbane and Sydney.

Once the cabin refresh is completed, the aircraft will be flown to Townsville to be repainted in a classic new  livery – a process which is expected to take four days, before entering service on flights across Australia and the Tasman to New Zealand.

Qantas’ first retro painted aircraft is named in honour of James Strong who served as Qantas Group CEO from 1993 to 2001 and features the livery used between 1971 and 1984. Qantas will unveil both the livery and the name of Retro Roo II at a hangar event for employees at Sydney airport on Monday November 16, the day it celebrates its 95th birthday.

Source: Qantas.

Qantas opens doors to new Perth Business Lounge

Courtesy: Qantas.

Courtesy: Qantas.

Qantas customers travelling from Western Australia are set to experience a new benchmark in business travel with the new Qantas Domestic Business Lounge opening its doors at Perth Airport.

The bright and innovative lounge represents an increase of almost 50 percent lounge space and has seating for more than 350 people. It features distinct zones offering the choice of areas to dine, work and relax.

Designed by Woods Bagot, the Business Lounge design draws on regional influences through architectural finishes based on the unique Western Australian landscape such as terracotta and metallic feature walls representing the mineral-rich soil. The colour palette is drawn from Margaret River, Matilda Bay, Wave Rock and Broome.

Speaking at the launch event, Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David said the new Perth Domestic Business Lounge would offer the airline’s premium flyers outstanding service, luxury design and premium food and wine.

“This lounge sets the new benchmark in business travel and represents the future of the Qantas Business Lounge in Australia,” said Mr David.

“The lounge has been designed with our most frequent travellers from WA in mind. It accommodates the mix of corporate, leisure and fly-in fly-out workers with business facilities, a sports lounge to relax and socialise, and dining areas with single and communal seating,” said Mr David.

Courtesy: Qantas.

Courtesy: Qantas.

Mr David said the opening of the new lounge demonstrated Qantas’ commitment to Western Australia.

“Perth, and broader Western Australia, is extremely important to our network. We’ve recommenced direct services to Singapore, we are developing our dedicated airport precinct and within the next six months the majority of our East – West flights will be operated by a reconfigured A330,” he said.

Our new airport space will deliver a better travel and airport experience for Qantas customers with improved gate access, faster security screening, quicker check in and now more lounge facilities.”

Speaking at the event, Perth-born Businesswoman, fashion designer, model and actress Megan Gale said she spends a lot of time in airport lounges so it was important to have a space to work and relax before her flight.

“I travel to and from Perth regularly for work and to visit my family and I’m really looking forward to starting my journey in this beautiful and spacious lounge. I love the local design influences, it’s so nice to walk into something that feels like home,” Ms Gale said.

Customers travelling through the lounge will be the first to enjoy two brand new Business Lounge dining concepts – a state of the art Italian pizza bar with a pizza chef, and a wine bar where customers can sit and enjoy barista coffee and freshly made croissants in the morning and a glass of wine and canapés in the evening.

The new lounge features menus designed by Neil Perry, a ‘make your own’ juice station in the morning, cocktail hour from 4 – 5pm on weekdays with cocktails designed by the Rockpool Mixology team and a generous fresh hot and cold buffet.

Courtesy: Qantas.

Courtesy: Qantas.

Customers can also enjoy a ‘plate of the day’ from the central island dining tables on weekdays. This includes dishes such as baked eggs with chorizo and feta in the morning and gourmet cheese plates in the evening.

The addition of a Qantas Business Lounge will complete Qantas’ suite of domestic lounges at Perth Airport with a Chairman’s Lounge and Qantas Club already in operation.

Qantas currently operates four Business Lounges (Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne) which are a unique product in the domestic Australian market and provides a key point of difference for Qantas compared to other airlines.

The Perth Domestic Business Lounge is open to Qantas customers travelling in Business and Platinum and Platinum One Frequent Flyers.

Source: Qantas.

Qantas Dreamliners symbolise new era for national carrier

Courtesy: Qantas.

Courtesy: Qantas.

Qantas will enter a new era of global opportunities, fuel efficiency and passenger comfort when the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner joins the Qantas International fleet from 2017.

The national carrier will acquire eight B787-9s to gradually replace five of its older Boeing 747s on Qantas International routes and open up a range of potential new city pairs. Four B787-9s will arrive in financial year 2018 and four will arrive in financial year 2019. This will leave the Qantas Group with its six youngest reconfigured B747s.

Announcing the decision after a rigorous assessment process, Qantas confirmed it had met the strict conditions for re-investment in a new long haul fleet type:

  • A return to strong profitability for Qantas International in financial year 2015, with the business reporting underlying Earnings Before Interest and Tax of $267 million – a turnaround of $764 million compared with financial year 2014 – and Return On Invested Capital above its cost of capital.
  • Net debt reduction of $1.1 billion since financial year 2013.
  • A competitive business case, including a new agreement with Qantas’ long-haul pilots. This agreement incorporates a 30 per cent productivity increase.

Qantas will retain 15 further options and 30 purchase rights for additional B787s, with significant flexibility over the timing of delivery should they be exercised.

Qantas will work with its team of internal experts and external designers to develop worldleading cabin interiors for the new Dreamliner. This will add to the aircraft’s unique features, including improved cabin pressure, larger windows and technology to reduce turbulence.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said the Dreamliner’s advantages for Qantas’ people and customers were hugely exciting.

“This milestone acquisition marks the scale of our turnaround and looks ahead to a new era for our iconic international airline,” Mr Joyce said.

“We’re halfway through the biggest and fastest transformation in our history. Qantas is rapidly growing fitter, stronger, and smarter. These aircraft are a fitting emblem of that evolution – they show that we are revitalised and here for the long haul.

“We have looked closely at every aspect of the Dreamliner and it’s the right aircraft for Qantas’ future.

“The key reason we chose this particular aircraft is its incredible efficiency. Its new technology will reduce fuel burn, cut heavy maintenance requirements and open up new destinations around the globe.

“Because the 787 is smaller than the jumbos it will gradually replace, it gives us the flexibility of having more aircraft without significantly changing our overall capacity.

“Every Qantas aircraft is a symbol of Australia and these aircraft will represent Australian excellence and ambition on a global scale.”

The acquisition of B787s for Qantas International is contained within Qantas’ existing capital expenditure guidance.

Source: Qantas.