Leave Sydney? "We're here to stay" says BA

By David Flynn , February 10 2014
Leave Sydney?

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."

BA's Hong Kong schedule now includes a daily Airbus A380 service with updated first class and business class seats.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

One day QF will wake up from its midsummer night's dream confused by its liaison with that Oriental ass, to find its erstwhile lover, BA waiting patiently albeit a little pudgy from the diet of Iberian jamon.

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

Who's the Oriental ass? Emirates?

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1256

In this region, getting back into bed with BA makes little sense. Actually partnering with CX or MY (or both) would be of more benefit to the Roo in my opinion. QF needs to strengthen Asia - they can't do it alone and whilst I have no issues with 3K, it is not the solution. They need a good SE & NE asian hub/partner ASAP (like yesterday).

Has there ever been intimate cooperation across the same region by two rival or friendly airlines of the same stature?

All alliances that I have been aware off involved airlines where their main focus is not each other's turf. (BA/AA, EY,VA, DL/(AF,KL))

The only time when an alliance amongst airlines on the same turf exist is when it is a relationship is that of parent/subsidiary (Qantas/Jetstar, SQ/Silkair, CX/Dragon, LH/LX,OS) or merged entitites (BA/IB, AF/KL).

It is therefore unlikely for QF to be in such an alliance in Asia-Pacific unless 1) QF purchases outright an airline in the region (unlikely given how protective countries in this region are of their airlines) OR 2) QF is purchased by the likes of CX or SQ (unlikely given the QSA).

excuse the typo and bad grammar! Was multi tasking!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

I agree, but even MH probably won't bite - they do well on their routes to KUL ex-Australian ports.

The best option is for Qantas to set up their own carrier in SIN.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1256

I would suggest the AirNZ/CX deal is something which QF could model a partnership on. QF flies to HKG then feeds into CX China/North Asian network and alt route to Europe. QF can code on CX's PER, ADL & CNS services.

I also not sure what the difference is between AA & BA for example, they co-operate on the transatlantic route. QF/CX could do that to HKG (with reg approval).

Unfortunately, it won't happen as CX/QF don't get on... but its possible. With MH (I said MY before), QF could just use it as a virtual airline to SEA and South Asia. MH benefits as they would undoubtedly pick up more feed. QF could then focus on Singapore as a destination.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

The problem is that it means that QF needs to restart flights to KUL, and MH already has triple-daily ex-MEL and ex-SYD, daily ex-ADL and ex-BNE, and nearly double-daily ex-PER. MH may have many network holes, but Australia is the one place they are all over.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1390

Agree. In Australia MH has almost gotten itself into the same position as CX - in that QF brings nothing to the table.

With some effort I could see more coming from the CZ/MU relationships, but PVG is a long way North for most of Asia

09 Sep 2012

Total posts 140

A 777 may be an upgrade in first class, but not in business.

09 Sep 2012

Total posts 140

Got.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1256

Why does QF need to restart KL flights? VA does not fly to Singapore... QF can leverage MH for its network.If there is demand, then they can reasses some KL flights, but that has to be a lower priority for down the track.

Qantas can't compete on cost, frequency and network in SE Asia. It can improve the A330's product, but can't improve cost enough to compete with SQ/MH. QF could fly more often, but they would have terrible loads and just be throwing good money after bad. They cannot have the network in Asia by having a patchwork of partners and they won't be able to start Qasia, Red Roo airline anytime soon. They need a good partner and they need to use their partners metal wherever its possible.

Dont get me wrong, when ever I am abroad, I love seeing the 'white roo on the red tail'...But it's just not practical in this world in every port. QF needs to focus on the places where it can be strong (US + hubs), find reliable partners, focus on service/product and re-engage the Australian public.

Virtual networks, coming to an Australian international airlines near you.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

QFi loses out badly if the virtual network starts in Australia, rather than in an Asian port.

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 128

well JL is close to AA and BA

Finnair is also very close to OW airlines

actually in OW the only oddballs are Qantas and Air Berlin

Asia is hardly QF's turf  so QF has no reason to be annoyed at OW. BA/AA partner because BA is not setting up subsidiaries in Miami and Dallas!!!!!  any alliance works like that and all OW airlines except QF are focusing on their OWN markets or expanidng OW presence in non OW markets like LAN has amazingly done.

and Air Berlin so far has avoided making enemies with alliance partners like QF.

I doubt CX would waste their money investing even a small % in sickly QF

SQ may with all their cash, however they are with VA .

also and AIRNZ/CX type relationship will never happen with QF

CZ has managed to steal passengers from CX to AKL ( CX product to AKL is crap) and NZ to HKG ( also crap product) so they partnered.

CZ has not dented CX operaitons to AUS at all and CX wants to expand ( CX product is among the worlds best to AUS)

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 128

please do not Insult oriental airlines by grouping them with Gaudy EK.

CX/SQ have a certain class that EK lacks

15 Dec 2013

Total posts 43

I give it another year.

17 Feb 2012

Total posts 121

Not sure I would describe going from a 747 to a 777 as an upgrade with an aircraft carrying around 100 less passages or so.  Seems like another downgrade (but yes I get it's a better product).   This is an airline that used to fly to every mainland Australian port and twice a day into Sydney.  Now just one city, once a day.  Completely vindicates QF's decision at partner with EK. 

LR
LR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 May 2012

Total posts 76

Whipper, while the seat count has decreased the Hard product is BA's newest offering.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 469

Whipper,

Right on, they did is what QF is now doing, eliminating flights to all Aust ports outside SYD.But BA is a sad carrier with verry poor and inconsistant perfetic service in all classes which need not be missed.They should relinguish slots to SYD and allow an another option.But at least they started prem econ a decade + before QF.

09 Sep 2012

Total posts 140

Why do so many airlines think all Australians live in one city?

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

LR, nothing stopping them to put new seats in 747 - one do not need replace aircraft to install new seats. I am with whipper and I do like 747 more.

As overall comment I like BA (though their service may be patchy) and I like Singapore transit. So overall I am not happy that QF break with BA and I LOVE to see BA flying from MEL as well as from SYD. They may choose other transit like BKK or HKK

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

I think his point is that BA doesn't have a new 747 product, not that they can't have a new 747 product.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 May 2012

Total posts 371

Agree with Hutch that MH and CX would be more suitable that Chinese Airlines.  I think EK is a good fit for QF.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Apr 2013

Total posts 47

I couldn't care less of the left. Those backwards seats are terrible. 

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I LOVE them, but you should pick proper one. Best one are those  window ones that close to back of the cabin where you do not need to jump over someone to get out. Thus your seat became your mini-suite. And of course golden one on upper deck of mighty 747 - not only it is private mini-cabin, but also it scored ample of storage and plenty of extra table space. Nothing like that on 777 or any other aircraft.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

Totally agree!!  BA 747 upper deck window seat in front of the emergency exit is WONDERFUL (if you cant get a seat in First).  So private and so much storage space.  The new product on the 777 is great, but nothing compares to the intimacy and exclusivity of the 747 upper deck.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

Totally agree!!  BA 747 upper deck window seat in front of the emergency exit is WONDERFUL (if you cant get a seat in First).  So private and so much storage space.  The new product on the 777 is great, but nothing compares to the intimacy and exclusivity of the 747 upper deck.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1227

Good. Pleased to read about it.

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 128

Still have no Idea why anyone would fly BA LHR- HKG

CX all the way gives one more choice and a better product

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

Better A380 cabin ambience? :)

If not BA and CX have comparable economy products.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 387

Sorry but not convinced that BA is here for the further long haul (no pun intended). Points made in the artlicle go to the BA/CX arrangement.

I suspect going from B747 to B777 has more to do with economics of it all. They can get increased frequency with lower fuel burn.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

What frequency?

15 Feb 2014

Total posts 3

I agree with the post below - getting into bed with Emirates has been a bad move from the cusotmer's point of view. Let's get back with BA. Let's transit at restful, elegant Singpaore instead of trashy, noisy, dont-care Dubai.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

I also miss Singapore, although I don't mind Dubai.

The thing is that flying BA meant that, unless you were travlelling only to London, the trip involved transiting in restful, elegant Singapore AND busy, chaotic LHR (which also usually involved a terminal change from T3-T5).

Personally I prefer BA to QF and wish BA were better positioned for my travel to southern Europe. But unfortunately QF/EK and VA/EY make more sense as they can get me to where I want to go with 1 stop.

For that reason, QF and BA are unlikely to get back together.


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