Qantas drops Shanghai, boosts Singapore and India

China’s loss is Singapore’s gain as Qantas redraws its Asian network.

By David Flynn, May 14 2024
Qantas drops Shanghai, boosts Singapore and India

Barely nine months after restarting flights from Sydney to Shanghai – a route which was the first casualty of the pandemic in February 2020 – Qantas is scrapping flights to the Chinese metropolis as of July 28 2024 due to weak demand.

But given the shortage of aircraft and plenty of opportunities elsewhere, the red-tailed Airbus A330 which now flies Sydney-Shanghai certainly won’t gathering dust.

In a series of changes to Qantas’ Asian network, the airline confirmed:

  • flights from Sydney to Bengaluru will become daily, up from the current five per week, between mid-December 2024 and late March 2025 to daily to cater for strong demand over the peak holiday season
  • Brisbane to Singapore goes up from seven to nine return flights per week from 27 October, with new QF53 flights on Friday and Sunday. Departing Brisbane at 3:40pm to reach Singapore at 9:50pm, Qantas says these are deliberately timed to improve connectivity with the daily QF1 from Singapore to London, which leaves Changi at 11.15pm
  • Sydney to Singapore will increase from 14 to 17 return flights per week from 11 December – and that’s on top of the current daily Sydney-Singapore-London A380 alongside the regular Qantas flights, including a leased Finnair A330

As for Shanghai, Qantas says passengers booked to travel on Sydney-Shanghai flights from July 28 will be contacted and offered a full refund, or they can contact Qantas or their travel agent to discuss rebooking on alternative flights.

However, according to the Qantas website, those rebooking options for Shanghai-bound travellers flyers are limited to a Qantas flight to Hong Kong or Tokyo, with a connecting flight on Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong or Japan Airlines from Tokyo.

Qantas also maintains a partnership with China Eastern, which will continue its direct Sydney-Shanghai flights, although unless time is of the essence, many will favour Oneworld member Cathay Pacific and even take advantage of an extended Hong Kong stopover.

Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace says the airline’s flights to and from Shanghai were often only half full.

“That’s why we’ve decided to suspend this route and boost flying to other popular destinations with a new route from Brisbane to Manila and additional flights to Singapore and Bengaluru.”

“We’ll continue to maintain a presence in China through our partners and our existing flights to Hong Kong and look to return to Shanghai in the future.”

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 712

Hardly a surprising move.  But I wonder if this now creates an opportunity for Qantas to also fly to Taipei or elsewhere in Taiwan?  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Feb 2014

Total posts 27

How uninspiring yet another overnight flight that runs within 2 hours of existing flights. How I miss the daylight QF 32 service! Lately I've found a single overnight from Europe is much less taxing on your body. Loved the FCO PER early evening arrival to SYD. Love that SQ has two daylight options.

28 Apr 2021

Total posts 24

Well indeed more QF flights from Brisbane to Singapore and no doubt will still be with the old A330 aircraft. 


The fact that Qantas is hoping that the extra flights will be patronized is indeed very ambitious, when savvy travelers will choose to fly with Singapore Airlines that not only has newer and more comfortable aircraft, but the in-flight meals particularly in Business Class are top Airline Fare, supported with the highest standard of Cabin service to the Passengers.


Also at the Brisbane Airport International Terminal, most Qantas flights are allocated faraway departure and arrival Gates, whereas SQ are most privileged to get pole position Gates, that is another plus.


With many boxes ticked and being Platinum, our next trip to Singapore will be with SQ.

28 Apr 2021

Total posts 24

Well indeed more QF flights from Brisbane to Singapore and no doubt will still be with the old A330 aircraft. 


The fact that Qantas is hoping that the extra flights will be patronized is indeed very ambitious, when savvy travellers will choose to fly with Singapore Airlines that not only has newer and more comfortable aircraft, but the inflight meals particularly in Business Class are top Airline Fare, supported with the highest standard of Cabin service to the Passengers.

Also at the Brisbane International Terminal most Qantas flights are allocated faraway departure and arrival Gates, whereas SQ are most privileged to get pole position Gates, that is another plus avoiding to walk long distances.

With many boxes ticked and being Platinum, our next trip to Singapore will be with SQ.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 May 2019

Total posts 5

It’s not surprised that Shanghai is only half full given that we still need visa to visit China and hardly anyone will transit via PVG.   But I’m even more surprised to see they have no intention to resume BNE-HKG since CX is the only player who fly this route.  Hate to fly down to SYD for that. 

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1529

I am happy for Brisbanians, but otherwise Sydney, Sydney, Sydney.... It looks like for Qantas there are no other cities in Australia including most populated city and this is Melbourne. Especially funny that Qantas not flying any overseas destinations at all from Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns and Canberra while overseas carriers see plenty of opportunities. Yeah, Flag Carrier.... Sydney and NSW Aerial Service.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2016

Total posts 97

Fully agree. Frustrating. I've tried to put a comment on this topic twice on this article now, but it must be being airbrushed out by ET....

17 Jun 2024

Total posts 1

QF fly from Darwin to Dili, Timor-Leste, and are soon starting up direct flights between DRW-SIN 

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 50

Completely agree. A woeful international network. The number of destinations served ex-MEL is…? A city of 5m people in a top 20 country by income per capita. 


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