Qantas adds direct Brisbane-Manila flights

The Flying Kangaroo bounces off on another new route to Asia…

By David Flynn, May 14 2024
Qantas adds direct Brisbane-Manila flights

Qantas will begin direct flights between Brisbane and Manila on October 28 2024, alongside its popular Sydney-Manila route and in competition with flag-carrier Philippine Airlines.

These eight-hour jaunts will be flown by an Airbus A330 with spacious business class flatbeds and close-quartered economy recliners, affording Qantas one edge over the older two-abreast business class of Philippine Airlines’ Airbus A321.

Flight QF97 will depart Brisbane at 7.15pm four days a week – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday – to arrive into Manila at 1am the following day.

While that will certainly beat the usual logjam traffic between Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the city, travellers will want to book their Manila hotel from the previous day rather than roll the dice on a very very early check-in.

The QF98 return leg will also call for an extra day’s hotel booking, given the 2.45am departure from Manila ahead of touchdown at Brisbane on 12.20pm the same day.

Ahead of that flight, travellers will be able to rest up at the independent and by all accounts very basic PAGSS Premium Lounge at Manila Terminal 3.

Unfortunately, the excellent Cathay Pacific lounge located in the same T3 lounge precinct won’t provide frequent flyers and business class passengers with an elegant alternative, as it closes around 8.15pm the previous evening.

Qantas says the new route will add more than 100,000 seats between Australia and the Philippines each year, with tickets expected to go on sale later this week.

“The Philippines is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a key trading partner for Queensland,” according to Brisbane Airport CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff. 

“With our state home to a vibrant Filipino community, the business and tourism opportunities generated by this expanded connectivity will no doubt be a success.”

Flight Centre reports an almost 30% uptick in business travel between Australia and The Philippines from January-April 2024 compared to the same period last year – with the top five industries being information technology, finance and insurance, services, construction and education.

The new route is part of a series of changes made to Qantas’ Asia network, which has seen the axing of Sydney-Shanghai flights but a boost to Sydney-Singapore, Brisbane-Singapore and Sydney-Bengaluru.

(And yes, those QF97/QF98 flight numbers used to be assigned to Brisbane-Hong Kong, which will no doubt spur speculation this route’s not returning any time soon...)

03 May 2021

Total posts 47

This is great but I do find it a bit strange that Qantas can operate Brisbane to Manila on the a330 whilst they still can’t seem to find any aircraft to run a single international flight from Adelaide. I think Brisbane to Manila might be better suited for the a321neo when they get them.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 385

QF will fish where the fish are biting. Hence why QF give more love to Sydney than they do Brisbane and Melbourne. 

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 441

Those are some unpleasant flight times.

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 50

I appreciate that MEL is served by PR and 5J however such a pity QF won’t do MEL-MNL. And no I don’t think putting an a321xlr with recliners in J is the solution for an 8 hour flight. Like many other Asian destinations ex-MEL CX and SQ remain the best option all things considered.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Aug 2015

Total posts 3

Nice to see the QF network continuing to grow from ports other than SYD

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