Qantas eyes direct flights to India for post-COVID growth

"We’re going to be looking for new international opportunities, and India’s just a matter of time" says Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

By David Flynn, January 21 2021
Qantas eyes direct flights to India for post-COVID growth

Qantas could launch direct flights to India as part of a new international network reshaped by COVID-19 as the airline seeks to tap into fresh opportunities in the post-COVID world.

Buoyed by a growing population and rapid economic development, India's middle class is set to soar from around 80 million today to a staggering 580 million people - or some 40% of the population – by 2025.

And while the country has in the past posed a challenge for Qantas, the tide – and the profit margin – could be turning.

"India is always a hard market to service, because Indian traffic is spread through so many different cities in India," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce reflected at the recent Reuters Next online forum.

"We've tried to serve it in a number of different ways previously – we had Sydney-Mumbai direct, and Sydney-Darwin-Mumbai at one stage when I was running the network for Qantas, and it never made any money."

"It's just a matter of time..."

"But we are always keeping an eye on it," Joyce said. "We think at some stage, India – with the traffic levels, the economic activity and the links with Australia – will get to a sustainable service, and we think when it reaches that points we’ll add it on."

Joyce said that as part of Qantas' flight path out of COVID-19 "we’re going to be looking for new international opportunities, and India’s just a matter of time... (but) we have to wait and see what happens after the COVID outbreak, which markets respond and grow back."

India is within reach of Qantas' Airbus A330 and Boeing 787 jets, and Qantas has already flown the Boeing 787 to New Delhi as a special charter service to bring home Australians stranded in India as international borders closed.

"Qantas is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities internationally, and we will have the flexibility to add capacity to markets where we think those opportunities are," he added.

Before the coronavirus, Air India offered the only direct link between Australia and India with flights from Sydney and Melbourne to New Delhi, while Oneworld member SriLankan flew between Melbourne and Colombo, with over a dozen onward flights across India.

Singapore Airlines has traditionally proven very popular in connecting travellers from most Australian capital cities to destinations across India via its Singapore hub and its partnership with Vistara.

Another popular option for many premium travellers headed for cities on the western edge of India was to fly business class with Gulf airline Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 175

How many times did they try India in the past, at least 2.  Its so hard to compete with a single route against the likes of SQ with their hub network

Australians travelling to India have some good stopover options, SQ is definitely in the lead and I know a lot of people headed to India for business and also holidays use SQ for the consistency of product and service. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar are also very popular as the article says, you can get some very business class competitive fares and again you get consistency of product and service on both legs of the trip.

Qantas can't play that game of course, it will just have to choose the biggest and potentially most profitable destination in India. But it would help to have some codeshare agreement with an Indian airline for QF flyers who need to go elsewhere in the country.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 860

The problem with India is it is not a single point of entry.  People travel travel to Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai.  QF could offer a flight to say Delhi but that would mean people travelling to other ports would need to connect onto domestic flights within India which can be challenging.  

SQ's hub in SIN connecting onto its own and Vistara flights throughout India remains more attractive.

QF continues to struggle to find a satisfactory alternative to its scissor hub it used to run for India in Singapore in alliance with the now defunct Jet Airways.  I used it back in 2017 and it worked seamlessly with Jet offering a service standard appropriate for people coming off a QF flight.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

Yes and no. Hyderabad and Chennai aren't major cities. For India there are only really two long-haul entry points: Delhi and Mumbai. If Qantas is successful, it will only ever fly to the latter two. Given Qantas can't even offer flights on it's own metal to popular tourist destinations like Phuket or more flights to Bangkok other than a single Sydney-Bangkok flight, or Vietnam, or more cities in China, I think it's a pipe dream to expect them to offer anything more than a single Sydney-Delhi and Sydney-Mumbai flight, and maybe later on, from Melbourne as well.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 120

Hyderabad 9.5m people, Chennai 7m. 

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 90

With Jetstar getting the a321neoLRs soon, there is likely to be a surplus of of 787-8s on its books, so this might be a good option for this type of route (but reassigned for Qantas). 

Now they won't be able to beat Singapore as they have a good network of connections to India, but like Air India who recently carved out the own little niche, a flight to a major hub in India (most likely Delhi) could possibly survive. Qantas just needs a good local partner and moderate expectations to succeed. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 175

i dont even know who'd they would partner with for domestic flights now Jet has gone, Indigo or Spicejet?

In some ways SriLanklan via CMB would have offered good connections to most major cities

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 67

How many articles on “what Qantas might do one day” can you write?  History shows Qantas does very little innovation (in comparison with their overseas peers) and uses media like yours to keep up its relevance. 

I’d love to seem them be innovative, but their culture and the economics of our distant & relatively small country, make it hard.  

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

Fully agree with you. Qantas is one of the least innovative airlines around. They're extremely cautious and can't even offer decent schedules to major Asian cities, hence why the likes of SQ, MH, TG, CX and others have to do the "dirty work" by offering flights that QF simply can't or won't. Except for an over abundance of flights to Hong Kong and Singapore, which are already served by several other airlines and not everyone wants or needs to go to these places. Most people prefer direct flights if at all possible.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 207

How is this news? Alan said that Qantas will fly to India if it makes money one day? Isn’t this just airline planning 101?

Will believe it when I see it. Together with Paris, Chicago, Korea, Taiwan and all the other promises that have never happened.

As an aside we now know Alan was the intellectual mind behind Sydney-Darwin-India. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 360

Chicago was set to go, you can’t blame Qantas for COVID unfortunately.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 606

.. or 9/11 for that matter. aklrunway

remember, MEL-ORD-MEL was the originally selected route to reach ORD and the service was due to start in 2001. Whilst your mention of a COVID defence is plausible, it is also fair to remember that it really took QF effectively 18-19 years to resurrect ORD - oh, and the acquisition of genuinely capable B787 airframes.

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 343

Non stop Sydney-Delhi-Sydney on 787 is where they need to focus as it's got the mix for the mega corporate hub in Gurgaon plus it's the gateway for key leisure destinations such as Agra, Jaipur, Rajasthan etc and a gateway to Nepal. Mumbai maybe another corporate hub but that's all, there is little to no (higher yield) leisure mix here other than VFR (visit friends & relatives) and that's a loss maker from ticket #1. 

For domestic add-ons they should consider a partnership with Vistara who hubs in Delhi.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 357

I can't see Vistara, who is partly owned by Singapore Airlines, assist Qantas in taking business away from SQ

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 860

SQ remains more attractive than QF in this scenario for everyone coming from somewhere other than SYD particularly if you want to end up somewhere other than DEL.  Say I wanted to go to Mumbai from Melbourne.  The QF option would be MEL-SYD (terminal transfer) then SYD-DEL (customs and Indian terminal transfer in DEL AAARGH!!) and then DEL-BOM on an often chaotic Indian domestic airline.  SQ's option would be MEL-SIN then SIN-BOM with any easy transfer within T3 in SIN and all on SQ metal.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

@AT true, although Goa is near Mumbai and nearly entirely tourism.

That's the thing about India though, as amazing as the country is with all it's tourism potential, it only receives at best the same number of international visitors in one year as Thailand receives in 2 months!

India is a diaspora market, where most arrivals are ethnic Indian. Thailand and other countries in SE Asia, though they have a growing middle class and outbound travel market, are still majority inbound (foreign arrivals) markets.

Qantas

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 30

Air-India is on the market to be sold. May be the orginal owners (Tata's) will buy it. Air-India is part of the *A same as Singapore. Air-India has the best reach in India but it is plagued with delays and horrible service on the ground.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 67

To be fair, the airports in India are awful and most ground service for airlines is less than average and I’ve tried them all. 

Qantas

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 30

When was the last time you visited India. I have been to Mumbai and it is amazing. They have privatised it and better than some US airports. I visited Delhi before the Common Wealth Games 2010 - when it just opened up and it was nicely renovated with teething issues. Been to Bangalore, it is small airport but not bad same as Hyderabad. 

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 84

Having flown into six different airports around India, I would shudder to have to make a domestic connection from a key destination , say Delhi. I wonder if such a service were to make money to make it a Melbourne, Colombo, then Delhi. Such a direct service to the subcontinent would be of interest, rather than a Melbourne to Colombo/ Delhi via Singapore and better for QFFs?!

22 Jan 2021

Total posts 1

Times have changed since quantas last tried India options. International travellers are mainly concentrate d mainly in South India e.air India is enjoying a twin City facility to Mel and Syd. Similarly quantas can definitely operate Hyderabad Chennaii to Syd Mel 4 times a week and Bangalore,Cochin to Syd Mel 3 time a week to start with.   .I feel this will be a sure winner

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2011

Total posts 51

Based on your finger in the air....?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 606

Actually, Air India's 'tag-on' strategy for SYD and MEL is reasonably smart. There is no reason why QF couldn't use a similar 'reverse' strategy for India. Qantas could easily operate a SYD-BOM-SYD on Mon, Wed, Fri and a SYD-DEL-SYD on Tue, Thu. Sat to achieve solid coverage.

A preferred option though, would be a SYD-BOM-DEL-SYD on Mon, Wed, Fri and a SYD-DEL-BOM-SYD on Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun which would give them daily coverage of both major cities. QF's real problem in India is the lack of a domestic Indian partner. 

In reality, you could theoretically serve 6 cities in India (from Australia) but you still need a connecting local partner unless you add tag-ons to every service.

Clearly, QF's main competitor here is SQ (with a stop in SIN), which QF could counter with the second option I show. 

Air India has come a long way in the past few years, but QF should be able to compete with AI on service levels irrespective. AI's advantage is its ability to connect to every major city in India - something even Vistara as to contend with.

Unfortunately, when QF decided to 'centralise / hub' everything in SIN (rather than the split BKK / SIN strategy), it killed a lot of potential Asian and sub-Indian continent strategies. Anyone else remember the days when QF operated a quite profitable SIN-HKG-BKK-SIN triangle? 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 362

Just wondering if anyone has an opinion on QF metal and product (service) and how it may influence ridership particularly on economy class

I think Australians of all background are used to the level of QF services via domestic flights, sometimes international ones.

I have no doubt the QF service at the front end is comparable to most of its Asian airlines competitors but in my opinion the hardware and service at the economy end will struggle to keep up with the Jones. This doesn’t apply to just only the India routes but also other previously proposed destinations like Taiwan and Japan, where the Y pax may be close to 50% non-Australian tourists (my guess) 

Hence I am curious if Y class pax of Asian background will choose QF transiting via regional airports in Asian countries to a long direct flight rather than flying directly to a great regional hub before flying to several AU destinations. 

For IN-AU destinations, SQ is probably QF’s biggest competitors

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 May 2020

Total posts 16

Given they high number of Indian expats in MEL surely a JQ service ex MEL may make more sense?

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

We're in the middle of a global pandemic where most countries have seen a record increase in the number of poor people, yet they're predicting the size of the Indian middle class, a country that still ranks as one of the world's poorest, rise from 80 million to 580 million in just 5 years? LOL!!

Who writes these articles?

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 65

Well spotted @TheFreFlyer. This surely has to be a typo. Either that, or some second-rate economic analyst is high on illegal substances! The notion that 100 million per year for the next five years will become 'middle class' would require an earth-shattering economic miracle that even the evil wizards of the Chinese Communist Party (with all their state powers of economic and social coercion) would shrink from even attempting.....If we're talking a longer timescale, say a couple of decades, then it becomes a more reasonable proposition. But in just five years! Give me a break!!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

Thanks sunnybrae. I was thinking the same thing after I wrote my comment, that if India manages to pull off lifting half a billion people out of poverty in just 4-5 years, they'll have done something a thousand times more amazing than even China managed over several decades.

Alas, even without the pandemic this is wishful thinking. If India adds 20 million more people to the middle class by 2025 that would sound about right.

Not to mention that India's economy performed rather poorly last year, losing around 10% of GDP compared to 2019.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Apr 2013

Total posts 57

Many people would love to fly direct SYD/MEL/... to BOM/BLR/MAA. Great that QF is talking about it - will believe it when it happens! 

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 4

SYD/CMB and onward using SriLankanAir/OneWorld routes into India could make it a good trip if QF/UL could sort out the times/transfers/connections and level of service.  If they could invest a bit and make it a solid product, avoids the domestic issues on ground in India. Would make Colombo a nice stop off point and might lift their leisure market too. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Nov 2012

Total posts 20

I seem to recall Qantas flying to Bombay more than 40 years ago as part of the Kangaroo route ... it wasn't just a refuelling stop, either. 

01 Jun 2017

Total posts 13

CMB is a good option to consider. While DEL and BOM may have the load, for passengers travelling to south India will find it painful to go all the way to DEL or BOM then spend considerable amount of time flying back down to the south. Similar to using middle eastern Airlines going all the way to the Gulf for example and back track. 

Jmb
Jmb

20 Sep 2019

Total posts 5

It is hard to imagine people willing to fly QF flights instead of EY, EK or SQ with their superior service but also far greater connectivity and destination choice to a greater range of cities in India. For me, based in India with business I would not be swapping my flights with Etihad or Emirates, as although there is longer travel time, it is high quality travel time with far better services and better options for going to other locations than BOM and Delhi

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

Indeed - the service on other airlines is better than QF. A bit strange to travel all the way to the middle east only to backtrack to end up in India. Wouldn't that be way more expensive than flying with THAI or SQ? During normal times, these airlines offer a seamless service from major Australian ports via their hub airports to connect with up to 8 Indian cities. Another good option is Malaysian.

These are the airlines to choose from when traveling between Australia and India, and even if QF returns to the sub-continent one day, if you're starting your journey from anywhere other than Sydney (and maybe Melbourne) and heading to anywhere other than Delhi (or Mumbai).

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

My comment was sent off before finishing off my point - even if QF returns to the sub-continent one day, if you're starting your journey from anywhere other than Sydney (and maybe Melbourne) and heading to anywhere other than Delhi (or Mumbai) you'll find it quicker and easier to travel via an Asian hub airport, such as SIN, BKK or KUL, which offer several Indian destinations, rather than requiring a domestic connection in Australia and again in India. For instance, Perth travellers aren't going to fly in the wrong direction to Sydney to get to Chennai, by having to transit in Mumbai first (assuming a SYD-BOM service operated by QF) when SQ can offer a seamless Perth-Singapore-Chennai connection on at least a daily basis. Or even PER-BKK-Chennai (assuming that Thai serves PER again after the pandemic is over...they've indicated that PER will be out for now) but I suspect that they'll be back serving PER long before Qantas serves any Indian destination.

Jmb
Jmb

20 Sep 2019

Total posts 5

@thefreqflyer for sure it adds on some time, and as i am based in South India, i look at the map as i go over where i will be going back to you and sometimes wonder whether it is crazy doing this but add on other factors like FF status and the high quality of flights, service and benefits then it all is esay to justify. often too my trips are the best priced i can find as well. From the Gold Coast, flying to Mel or Syd to fly out on EY or EK, these are some of the best lounges in Australia to use to start the journey as well as the EK lounge in BNE

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1245

Jmb the backtracking is the killer. I’ve used emirates to Pakistan and the regional EK service is very average as well as the extra four hours flying time not to mention transfer time. Qantas is not so worse than EK that you would spend an extra six hours travelling time for as far as I’m concerned in Y much the same service standard. A 4/3 schedule to Mumbai and Delhi would work. A better code share than what they had with Jet would work for places like Kolkata.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

The backtracking is definitely the killer. Ex Australia, assuming all the airlines and destinations served return post Covid-19 restrictions, a flight from Syd, Mel, Bne or Per via Bkk, Sin or Kul direct to India makes the most sense by far. A 14 hour non-stop just to get to Dubai only to have to backtrack for 4 hours seems overkill, when a shorter 7-9 hour flight followed by another 3-4 hours or so will get you to your destination.

Yes, there is some 'backtracking' if you fly from the east coast of Australia to Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha and then bounce back to India, but you would mainly do this if you are headed to a major city in the west of India, such as Delhi or Mumbai, and those three Gulf airlines are known for having not only great business class and in some cases first class but also for having very competitive airfares. I know several Indian professionals living in Australia who fly 'back home' with the Gulf airlines for exactly those reasons. Sure they can save some hours by going via Singapore or Bangkok or KL, but when the Gulf carriers especially EY and QR offer them a very competitive rate for business class, then the extra hours spent isn't that much of an imposition to them.

Jmb
Jmb

20 Sep 2019

Total posts 5

Absolutely AsiaBizTraveller, and also there is Bangalore for easy connections as well as BOM and Delhi from the Gulf. As well as inflight being amazing and their huge entertainment range and excellent crew, there is also the top high standard of ground services including lounges in Syd, Mel, EK's BNE, Abu Dhabi and Dubai for EY and EK, i havent done QR yet but hope to at some stage and am sure their's is on par, i have heard great things. When JetAirways were still in the air, travelling with EY was super easy with their easy internal connections. Far and away flying for me with them although longer is justified as opposed to MH, while KL lounges are great the rest is not as good. SQ and Thai would be excellent i am sure but without status with them, choice is made easier to stick with EY or EK

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

AsiaBizTraveller, just because you know a few people who have done that, I doubt very many Indians are doing what you claim. On typical flights from Bangkok to Sydney, half the passengers are Indian (or Pakistani) especially on the morning departure (usually around 8am out of BKK) in transit from India/Pakistan to Australia. I've also noticed this on flights bound from Bangkok to Melbourne and Singapore (SQ) bound for SYD/MEL/BNE.

THAI/Thai Smile have been serving as many as 8 Indian destinations and 3 Pakistani ones, which is the most served Pakistani destinations out of any SE Asian airline. Surprisingly, SQ has alternated between no Pakistani cities served or only one (usually Karachi) so THAI remains a top carrier for people commuting between the sub continent and Australia for years particularly with it's good connections - most Indian/Pakistani flights returning to BKK arrive around 5 or 6am, which is perfect timing for the daily SYD and MEL bound flights both of which depart between 720 and 810am (usually Sydney is first, Melbourne departs a little later). Of course, with it's financial troubles, THAI was offering fewer SYD bound daytime services ex BKK in the 2 years leading up to Covid restrictions, but airline schedules are dynamic so my point remains valid.

It makes sense to transit in SE Asia in the outbound direction too, with KUL, SIN and BKK connections from 4-5 Australian gateway cities to the sub-continent being very convenient. SQ offers the most convenient connections in this direction - one can usually arrive in India sometime late at night after an afternoon departure from any of 5 Australian cities.

I think the Middle Eastern carriers make sense for destinations in the Middle East, including Iran, which is no longer served by any SE Asian carrier (THAI pulled out back in 2018 I think it was), Africa and Europe, but backtracking eastward makes no sense to me. A stopover in a SE Asian city is a lot more reasonable and given the high costs of stopping over in Dubai, the average person will choose a SE Asian stopover point over Dubai for a night or two before continuing onto India.

TFF, I'm not saying that all Indians do this or even a majority of them. I definitely notice a lot of Indians flying with SQ from Australia and then connecting to other SQ flights at Changi, presumably they are heading to India. All I am saying is that there ARE people do who the Australia-Gulf-India route, despite the 'back-tracking', and explaining some reasons why they would choose this when it's longer than going via Singapore. Just because it "makes no sense" to you, as you say above, doesn't mean it can't make sense to other people. You can argue all you like about why an Asian transit makes sense, and as I have said it also works for a lot of people, but that doesn't make other people's choices invalid.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

Look, I don't know what you are trying to prove by arguing on here about something so unimportant and general. We could be here all day discussing the various flight options between Australia and India pre-Covid (and presumably, post Covid as well) but what's the point to it all?

I think I speak for the majority of posters (and travellers in general) when I say that very few people would consider getting on an exhaustive 14 hour flight from Sydney to Dubai, and then remain in transit for a 4-5 hour flight in the wrong direction to their destination.

I'm sure there are people who've flown all sorts of ridiculous routings, especially in America, where most flight itineraries seem to involve 3 or 4 stopovers as they're the cheapest (for example, Denver-Chicago-New York-London-Frankfurt, when a non-stop option is available). I'm sure there are travellers who might fly Qantas from Bangkok to Los Angeles via Sydney, as ridiculous and excessively long a flight that is (and a lot more expensive than directer options via other Asian gateway cities)...maybe out of loyalty or whatever reason. Sure, it happens. But I don't think it's common.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1245

I’ve done Islamabad via Dubai simply because there was no other option from Australia without a change in Karachi to PIA (best avoided!!!).

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

@Patrick, actually there would have been one option, which I've pointed out above: THAI Airways via BKK since SQ stopped flying to Pakistan some years back and I think even Malaysian either stopped or only flew to Karachi. However, Islamabad to Dubai is not necessarily a big deal, as it's closer to the UAE than India is.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 606

There will ALWAYS be exemptions to the rule, and this is one of them. However, while I agree that people are free to choose their options, there are some unassailable facts that can't be ignored:

1. Airlines today generally prefer to operate on a point to point or a hub to point strategy (zero stops), where possible. This is why aircraft such as the A330 and B787 families were designed. This is the preferred Boeing strategy and has been for the past 20 years.

2. If point to point is not feasible / desirable, then point to point via an alternate and efficient (ground / connection) stop is the next option.

3. Backtracking anywhere in the world is supremely inefficient. Why do you think that QF abandoned SIN in favour of DXB? It was to stop feeding BA at LHR with passengers bound for Europe not wishing to spend time either visiting or transiting London.

Similarly, business passengers usually choose the most efficient / fastest option(s). Whilst there may be individuals who choose alternate longer, multi-stop routings, these people are few and far between. 

Excess time spent on aircraft or waiting around in airports is generally not an efficient or productive use of time (particularly at the very most senior levels of management). The number of individuals who swan around flying unnecessary hours in order to save a few hundred dollars is minimal. The greater the importance / reason for the business travel, the greater the need for efficiency of time.

Swanning around on EK / EY from Australia to the ME and back-tracking because the 'service is better' and wasting several extra hours due to connections as well as the amount of extra flying time makes me wonder about the real reason for the travel.

As said, there are always example to the contrary - and that is what is being presented here. The difference is - it just isn't the norm. If it were, QF would still be flying the multi-stop Fiesta route via the South Pacific, ACA (Acapulco) to Mexico City (MEX) and an onwards Caribbean stop to London. That was an idea that died at least 35-40 years ago.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

@kimshep, fantastic reply. Absolutely spot on! You've said everything I did with more specific examples. I don't think very many travellers, either business or leisure (especially not the former) would choose to spend more time than necessary flying. For business travellers in particular, they've often experienced the same thing many dozens of times before, so for them, spending extra time on a plane because that particular airline offers a more extensive selection of cheese on board is unlikely to factor into their decision making when time is of the essence.

01 Jun 2017

Total posts 13

Going through KUL, SIN, BKK does make sense to reduce the need to backtrack. Some passengers travelling back to India,  the journey does stop in the big cities.  For some, they still have to travel by road to their hometowns.  And that adds another few hours on top of the already long flight time. 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 312

Precisely. As mentioned, during normal times the 3 biggest SE Asian carriers (SQ, MH and TG) all offer several Indian destinations, in addition to Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, while THAI also serves Pakistan.

Indians also like shopping and entertainment, thus a stopover in one of these three cities allows a more relaxing travel experience whereby they can also buy souvenirs for their loved ones back home along the way.

QF will never be able to offer 8 Indian destinations ex Australia. And it will only ever offer perhaps 2 departure points (SYD and MEL) so unless one absolutely hates stopovers, most people almost have no choice but to continue flying with a SE Asian carrier OR if they prefer, perhaps for cultural reasons, Air India from SYD/MEL and then transiting to their destination using a domestic Air India flight.


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