Qantas suspends Melbourne-Hong Kong flights until June

The delay could prove a gift for Cathay Pacific.

By David Flynn, February 15 2023
Qantas suspends Melbourne-Hong Kong flights until June
Executive Traveller exclusive

Qantas has again delayed the resumption of flights between Melbourne and Hong Kong, reportedly due to ongoing labour shortages experienced by the airline’s ground handler at Hong Kong airport.

Although the airline previously planned to restart the once-popular QF29/QF30 service on Sunday March 26, Executive Traveller understands it’s been caught up in the same staff shortages and fee hikes which are hobbling many airlines at the once-thriving hub.

“Around 20 regional Asian airlines have been unable to restart or increase services to the city despite months of negotiations with ground handling services,” reports global news agency AFP.

“The executives complained that ground handling companies were upping fees by 30 to 100 percent and prioritising parent companies or mostly Chinese airlines that they have close, or direct, business ties to.”

Qantas now forecasts Melbourne-Hong Kong flights will remain grounded until June 20, with the airline now contacting passengers impacted by this change.

The airline’s Plan A will be for Melbournians hop a domestic flight to Sydney and join the daily QF127/QF128 between Sydney and Hong Kong – a route that’s now being upgraded to an A380 superjumbo between late March and June, with the intention that the double-decker jet can handle the extra load.

However, Cathay Pacific’s direct flights which run between two and three times a day are sure to have high appeal while Qantas remains off the non-stop board.

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 232

Oh dear this is embarrassing- how about delaying route announcements and ticket sales till routes are 100% guaranteed to launch - really ACCC should have a say in this stuff.

09 Jan 2023

Total posts 7

As if Hong Kong didn't already have enough difficulty attracting travellers without this new hiccup!

01 Apr 2014

Total posts 121

Qantas also has an earnings update due to market on 23rd Feb, so it looks better to the analysts if they can dust off another aircraft and announce the resumption of another A380 route, albeit only temporary. 

It's a bit like the hot dogs you see on the rotating warmer in 7-Eleven - just for show, and not really fooling anybody.

The extra capacity will obviously help in lieu of the delayed MEL-HKG restart, but there was an operational spare A380 already. At least there will now still be an operational spare whilst the upgraded HKG flights are running, although scheduled maintenance will absorb some of that.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

26 Jul 2012

Total posts 37

Pathetic, it's  just so typical of QF and it's  Sydney centric attitude. Melbourne  is gearing up to be the largest city in Australia, and let's  hope another airline even the likes if SQ, EK, QR, CX take the opportunity to dominate in Melbourne.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 May 2020

Total posts 2

Regardless of the size of Melbourne, for pax heading into Australia, more ticket demand still for Sydney than for Melbourne.

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