British Airways says it has no intention of axing its Australian flights and pulling out of the historic Kangaroo Route between Sydney and London.
Last week's abrupt announcement that Virgin Atlantic would shutter its Sydney-Hong Kong route left the British flag-carrier as the only European airline still flying to Australia, leading to renewed speculation that BA might also pull up stumps.
But BA is here to stay says Nicole Backo, the airline's regional commercial manager for South West Pacific.
“British Airways has a long and proud history of servicing Australia. We’re committed to this market and have been for nearly 80 years."
BA had to fend off similar rumours in 2012 when Qantas announced the Qantas-British Airways joint venture for flights to London via Singapore would be dissolved in favour of Qantas' alliance with Emirates, which saw Qantas' European transit point shift to Dubai.
Not only did British Airways continue flying the Sydney-Singapore-London route, over the following year BA upgraded that service from a Boeing 747 to a new Boeing 777 with the latest first class cabin; launched a chauffeur-drive service in Sydney; and began a codeshare partnership with Cathay Pacific from flights out of Australia to hook up to BA's two daily Hong Kong-London flights.
Hong Kong stopover
BA's Backo says the airline is seeing "an increase in passengers year-on-year" on the Kangaroo Route "largely due to the alternative routes we provide to Europe and the rest of the world."
The latest twist adds the option for passengers on BA's codeshared Cathay Pacific flights to break their journey in Hong Kong before continuing to London, whereas under the previous arrangement they had to travel straight through.
"This provides a real bonus for our passengers" Backo explains. "It provides far more flexibility to explore or do business, with more options to meet the ever-demanding and varied itineraries of the modern business and personal traveller."
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