While introducing direct flights to Paris in mid-2024 and reinstating services to Rome from June to October 2024, the airline is currently evaluating the feasibility of additional ‘city pairs’ connecting Australia with various international destinations.
Qantas New Routes to Europe and US
Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace, participating in a panel discussion at South x Southwest Sydney last month focusing on Qantas’ non-stop Project Sunrise flights, disclosed, “We always have five or six different city pairs under what we call ‘deep observation’ – scrutinizing passenger flows and assessing yields.”
Perennial favorites such as Chicago and Seattle are likely on Wallace’s radar, as he affirmed, “We’ve been looking at markets in the States. We’ve got a good business in the States because it diversifies – we’ve got JFK, we’ve got LA, and we have San Francisco – but we can look at other places in the States.”
Qantas had initially secured Brisbane-Chicago flights slated for April 2020, a plan disrupted by the early impacts of the Covid pandemic. However, given that this route is the sole non-stop connection between Australia and Chicago, it presents a valuable opportunity for Qantas to establish a ‘monopoly route.’
US Expansion and Partners
As the USA’s third-largest city and a compelling destination in its own right, Chicago holds significance as a gateway to the Midwest and a major hub for American Airlines. Considering this, Qantas could potentially capitalize on the strategic importance of Chicago.
Seattle emerges as another prospective destination for Qantas, especially with the Boeing 787, offering a route nearly equivalent in distance to Qantas’ existing trans-Pacific journey between Sydney and Vancouver.
Seattle’s enduring appeal ranges from being the headquarters of prominent US technology companies to serving as a hub for Arctic and Alaskan cruises and boasting the natural outdoor attractions of the Pacific Northwest.
A further incentive for Qantas could be the Oneworld alliance membership of Seattle-based Alaska Airlines. This affiliation could potentially result in synergies, contributing to a substantial influx of inbound tourism on Sydney-Seattle flights through the alliance partnership.
Perth to See Direct Flights to Europe
Qantas is eyeing potential expansion in Europe beyond its current trio of destinations—London, Paris, and Rome. Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace expressed optimism about identifying opportunities in the next six to nine months for adding another city to their European network.
The growth strategy aligns with Qantas’ plans to leverage its fleet, including the game-changing Airbus A220 and A321XLR jets. Wallace emphasized the significant advantages these aircraft bring to Qantas’ international capabilities.
The A321XLR, renowned for its extended range, particularly opens up substantial opportunities in Asia. In contrast, the A220, with its impressive range, is positioned to address domestic and short-range international routes.
Wallace highlighted the favorable “cost per available seat kilometer (profile)” of both aircraft, emphasizing the ability to cover longer distances at lower costs. This cost efficiency enables Qantas to offer more attractive airfares to customers.
The enhanced economic profile of these aircraft plays a crucial role in Qantas’ pursuit of a lower cost base, enabling the airline to explore historically challenging markets due to efficiency constraints. In essence, Qantas anticipates exciting prospects and growth opportunities ahead with these advancements in its fleet.
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